My artwork connects history, storytelling, self-identify and education. The idea, ‘provoke a little thought and you have the power to change the world’ resonates deeply with me and is expressed through my work. I attempt to draw an emotional connection through my art and I want people to be inclined to ask questions and possibly do some independent research.
As a lifelong educator, lover of art and history it is my natural inclination to combine all three elements in my work/pieces. I like to use a variety of mediums such as primary and secondary documents, pieces of nature, photographs and acrylic paint to help convey the message of any given piece of work. Having engaged subjects as diverse as the Cuban Revolution, depression in black women and the american prison system, my work reproduces familiar visuals and words, arranging them into new conceptually layered pieces.
I am a firm believer that an unspoken word is simply a thought, idea or dream waiting to take flight, waiting for a voice or the strength to soar and explore its’ possibilities. I adore creating collages and approach the creation of each and every one as a journey and exploration. These journeys are spiritual, and historical and visually thought provoking. Through my collage journey’s I enjoy giving those thoughts, dreams and ideas courage to grow and soar.
Within my fifteen years of teaching, I’ve always used a variety of art forms to not only assist students in mastering state standards but develop student leadership and creativity. Project-based learning and art integration have proven to be strong/powerful teaching aids in my classrooms. The strengths I have gained through my instruction will carry over and be an asset to aspiring art students everywhere.
I am excited about the next phase of my art career and my overall growth. I am currently experimenting with different mediums and textures within my collages. I’ve been played with air dry clay, block printing, drawing, painting and sewing. My goal is to create large scale, portrait collages that tell historical stories of growth, activism and self-care. I am researching and studying the history of black women and self-care. I’m asking questions of elders from all walks of life as I examine their choices for self-care. I am also exploring how their self-care choices were consciously or subconsciously passed on through generations.
This research will help influence my next collection of collages. My goal with this collection is to share how women can morph and grow wings after committing to self-care. Sometimes we form butterfly wings, eagle wings, queen bee wings or even the mythical rising phoenix wings. Our wings symbolize reaffirmation of our freedom, our bravery and our strength.
I’ve also been researching the work and techniques of Faith Ringgold and Njideka Akunyili-Crosby. I admire their methods of visual storytelling as I’m aspiring to create large scale work.