My Life in Art

My Life in Art

My earliest memory of art making was probably as a young child escaping from a noisy household of 8 children to play with fabric remnants from my mother’s sewing bin. Later, the weekly Sunday New York Times provided fashion illustrations to copy. In Catholic school, the rare occasions of art class were always my favorite subject.

After a short stint at working in the fashion world, I was in my early 20’s when I took a college level art class and then I was smitten. I continued on through my MFA degree, with goals be an art professor and exhibiting artist.

By the time I moved to NYC in the early 80’s, I was mostly making videos. My videos told stories about women, especially women who rebelled, like Kathy Boudin of the Weather Underground and
Mata Hari. The Lower East side was burgeoning with artists and young galleries at the time and it was easy to make connections. I joined a group called COLAB and had some success with acquiring grants and residencies and even a screening at MOMA.

However, I also became a mother and needed some consistent income. I went back to school to learn about computers and became an educational technologist. This provided me with a career and employment for the next 20 years, but art making went on sabbatical. It ended when my husband was asked to work in London, UK and I essentially “retired” from employment of my own to accompany him.

In London, I took classes in textile art and worked as a docent at the Tate Museum. I think the two experiences both influenced me greatly and I mentally connected making textiles objects and getting familiar with some radical art. The museum became my personal archive where I went almost daily to study the work of the Arte Povera group, Kusama, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Louise Bourgeois and more. In the studio, the idea that embroidery was drawing captivated me and later I incorporated surface design.

My work continues to grow and develop. I am grateful for the time I can dedicate to art making and the many wonderful local artists I have gotten to know. I continue to explore combining paper and cloth in new ways. There are at least two streams of work: installations focusing on social/political topics, and smaller works of a personal nature. I think in both realms, the work is motivated by discovery and narrative.