After a lengthy search up and down country roads Gregg and I bought the land for our studio+shop in 2008. We sat on it for two years before we broke ground in 2010. This was a dream project that took us approximately five years to complete. We started with getting Gregg’s wood shop finished so he could gradually build out the rest of the space. We enjoyed the slower pace taking time to ensure the layout worked for our creative needs and invested in the materials and design details that were most important to us. We made a commitment to using quality materials, timeless design and utilizing local resorces as much as possible. See more photos of our five year labor of love.
A commission for Interior Designer, Andrew Flesher’s New York apartment, this work spans 112” wide by 18” high. Inspired by a window display at a men’s shirt shop each shirt label features a line from a poem created in collaboration with Zac Stafford. Materials include shredded paper, pattern paper and vintage textiles.
Artist/Poet collaboration with Zac Stafford. Referenced from an old photo of Zac’s mother and uncle. Paper, paint and printed words.
I Have Given My Whole Life To Words is a commissioned art piece for the Forum Communications news room in Fargo, ND.
Research and collaboration was an essential part of my creative process. Understanding the Forum’s history, talking first-hand with journalists, printers and archivists about their passion at the paper, how they interact with each other and within the community allowed the process of storytelling to unfold.
Using a variety of materials and techniques relevant to the newspaper and journalism as a profession, I combined text, newsprint and old textiles in unconventional ways. Original wood type was hand-rubbed with graphite on paper then enlarged and hand printed on the piece. You see re-use of reporter notes and remnants of a printer’s apron. A host of stories about community, historic events and life changing experiences that are re-interpreted through bits of cloth, paper, paint and text.
A reflection of the individuals it surrounds, the art is expressive, full of continuous motion and a bit chaotic. My hope was that everyday curiosity would lead one to see something new, to ponder the complexity and the multitude of layers and stories within the piece and the world in which we all live.
Number three in a series that marks the journey of my mother’s Alzheimer’s. My mom loved to dance and had a closet full of dresses for each occasion. This dress reflects one of those dresses I found while clearing out her apartment. Rosary beads, pattern paper, textiles and old torn photos
Towards the River is inspired by the thunder of forty horses galloping out to the pasture each morning. Materials include newsprint, shredded paper and acrylics. A poem embedded within the piece was created by Zac Stafford.
My grandmother, Elizabeth Fleming, (1886-1974) continues to guide me with her most notable attributes; a steady calm, love for fashion and sewing. Unheard of for women at this time, my grandmother and four women friends started a custom millinery shop in 1907. Their fearlessness, creativity and spirit is something I have drawn on often.
Still Here sculptural vintage hat forms are each adorned with a line from a poem done in collaboration with my friend and poet, Zac Stafford. The words are stenciled, hand-wrapped in pewter and nailed on to each form.
Number four in a series that marks the journey of my mother’s Alzheimer’s. By 2005, my mom’s memory was severely declining. She no longer recognized family members and her conversations were limited.
The vintage dress form served as a reflection of my mother—a seamstress, daughter, mother, grandmother and friend to many. Covered in shredded photos and newsprint from old scrap books these fragments were pieces and parts of her life scattered chaotically throughout the piece. It really didn’t matter that my mom couldn’t remember any longer. It just meant I was going to have to work harder to remember her.
Number five in a series that marks the journey of my mother’s Alzheimer’s. My mom broke her hip in 2005 which accelerated her Alzheimer's and by 2006 most of her speech was gone. I’ll Catch The Words As They Fall was created in the spring of 2006. What little she said, I wanted to catch each word and hold on to them for as long as I could. Some made sense and others I had to piece together. Individually crafted, each letter hanging from the bodice is unique—some with fabric, others with old letters written to my mom from friends in the army. It’s fragile, complex and gives one a sense of barely holding on.
Number six in a series that marks the journey of my mother’s Alzheimer’s. By 2007 by mom could no longer communicate. During this time there were still small indicators that she was present; a joyful smile or a pondering gaze. The dress is a nod to years of sewing together and her love for dancing. A fully constructed hand-stitched dress made from paper, newsprint and bookbinding material.. A poem created by poet and friend, Zac Stafford is hand stenciled on the inside.
This series of sixteen dog portraits started innocently as an escape from an election year. Although they are separate paintings they are meant to be displayed together as one unified piece. I refer to them as My Therapy Dogs. They have provided hours of pure pleasure and reward. The intentional use of color is a departure from my natural color palette.