Photos by Jason Wyman
My creative practice has two primary manifestations: two-dimensional works, including drawing, printmaking, painting, and collage (the personal and spiritual); and participatory, community-engaged installation and performance (the public and pluralistic).
My two-dimensional work--drawings, paintings, and prints--express and process my love of, and fear for, the natural world. The degradation of the environment simultaneously evokes a sadness and a reminder to embrace impermanence and mindfulness--to deeply see the beauty that is around me and understand that it is constantly evolving. This duality is ever-present in life--the light cannot exist without the dark and vice versa. My work draws upon the essential qualities and forms of rocks, trees, thickets, and other elements of nature. I recently relocated to the Philadelphia area from the San Francisco Bay Area, where I lived for 20 years. It is that stunning region of the country that awakened my love of nature. Now that I am back in Pennsylvania, where I grew up, I am applying that way of seeing and sensing the environment here, as well as seeking out opportunities to experience landscapes that inspire me.
My installation and performance work has largely focused on collaborative, pluralistic projects aimed at sharing the stories of communities that aren’t often heard—LGBT elders, youth from low-income communities, people with disabilities. Although the artistic form has evolved over time, certain aesthetic values remain the same: layering and juxtaposition of various elements—gesture, image, sound, text— to evoke new meanings and uncover universal truths: that we all want to belong, and we all struggle to find that place of belonging. I create these pieces through multi-modal workshops designed to encourage artists and non-artists alike to translate their experiences into visual and performative language.