Through the Window

Since my art is all inclusive of life and how I live it, you are invited to peek in the window and glimpse the scope of what this journey consists of. You might look at this as a condensed bio or a snapshot that looks like a collage of snapshots.

Our Three Youngest Granddaughters

Who and What
Life is a balancing act between the passion for the arts and my beloved family. I was raised in the era that girls were taught to become wives and mothers. So I married young and started having children. By the age of twenty five, I had four. Now I am happy to say, my marriage in 1968 is still blessed with love. I am a thankful wife of my dearest husband, mother of four, grandmother of eleven, and great grand of one. As you might guess- this can keep me busy; my mind preoccupied, and my heart in many places at once… with all the blessings and good times, not all is joyful. I hurt with every hurt each of them have. Most of my darker, more meditative works come from my struggles with their life-pains.

My passion for the arts are such that I have spent the bulk of my life promoting art through education since my children were tots, when I began teaching art classes in my basement. Sharing my love of art is who I am as an artist. Strangely it has been an ongoing battle within me to decide if I am a professional artist or a teaching artist. Only recently did I settle the battle and come to terms with the simple fact that it is one in the same- for me anyway. I have sold my own works sufficiently enough to wear the title of artist, although more of my time is spent teaching and creating opportunities for others to find their artistic voice.

A simple clay example for an art lesson I taught to sencond grade in 1988.
When- Where- How
My day job- Mondays through Fridays consists of directing/coordinating programs as Coordinator of Copper Basin Learning Center which is based at Copper Basin Middle/High School. This gives me opportunities to work with the teachers to incorporate arts across the curriculum. The students I work with did not have a sequential arts education through the elementary school years. Rural schools rarely have money for art teachers. Therefore the burden falls on classroom teachers to implement arts into their other lessons. Many do not know how, because they were not trained in the arts. Since art is not tested, it is one of the things dropped. That is where I fit. As a teaching artist who has been trained through state arts agencies and Artist-In-Education residency programs- I provide teacher training and consultation, and partner with teachers to implement lessons that bridge the gaps to provide real arts education while teaching their required subject matter. I also collaborate with a T.E.A.C.H. Team (who makes the Learning Center work); to write and manage grants; local donations; cooperate partnership; and other functional aspects of having moneys and delivering results in such programs. Plus I teach after school arts classes, some Saturday workshops, and Summer Arts Camps.

Summer Art Camp 2011
When do I create art? At my desk preparing for a lesson; during a lesson as an example; during the many lessons and workshops I attend; on Fridays (the purpose for a day at home); and any other time I can fit it in. The real process is a living one. I think of arts lessons and arts productions while driving, showering, or sleeping. Art is involved in how I prepare and dish up a meal; decorate my home; write in my journals; work in my garden and see the world around me. I really think it is more about ones perspective than ones output.

Book Arts- My first coptic bound book made during a weekend series at John Campbell Folk Arts School

So whether I made a piece at school or in my studio doesn’t really matter at all. What matters is that I live in a way that the “flow” continues.

My first needle felted doll also made during a weekend at John Campbell.

I don’t view art as my occupation, like a job. It is more than that. For me art is more like a life song that changes melodies according to circumstances, with the words coming in the form of the media chosen.

Art is how I express myself; how I play; sometimes comes from where passion resides within me. Sometimes it is just an exploration of how a variety of mediums interact with one another; or my way of interacting and enjoying the company and creativity of others. Many times it is the place I go when I need to be alone- as my therapy and special friend.

A shelf in my studio. There are many stories in this one photo. It is like a documentary covering a great span of my life.

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