Life in Motion
"Are you an army brat?" often asked of me because we moved a lot. No, but I am the third of four daughters of a marine, granddaughter of a pilot who flew planes just eight years after the Wright brothers creation. Arlington National Cemetery holds my unmet other grandfather, a naval commander in WWI and WWII. Venezuela was a second landing after my arrival in New Rochelle, NY. My two year old brain had a collision in Caracas; undecided as to which language to choose between, it decided neither- for the better part of two years and - the rest of my life. Experiential education gave me a second chance at learning spanish, this time in Spain but yielded similar results. I returned to the US after six months to my first language-art. Alfred University School of Art and Design, a place with little sunshine during the school year, filled with focussed learning and production, only got better while staying in school when most left.
A single stranger at a Brooklyn artist party gave me a shot at art handling and a slide sheet resume convinced artists to hire me.
Touching the untouchable the art machine is revealed intimately. Playing competitive sports came in handy when the eighteen wheelers rolled up to the MoMa moving crates that would not fit in most homes. The precious piece of art history I thought I was holding onto in the middle of the night, was my tiny bedroom wall indicating that it was time to move on. Instead I continued entrusting the teamsters to not let me get crushed as they learned to trust me, despite my gender and size. Art handling, art assisting and a lower east side artist studio residency were manageably interwoven.
Elated when the MoMa registrar and a New York Times art critic working on the Picasso Braque show, bought three small BFA rubber sculptural works hanging on the administrative office walls of the museum. Like many before, I became a human vice for Ursula von Rydingsvard as she jammed a circular saw into delicious smelling, semi-toxic red cedar inches away from my feet; tools were true extensions of her clutches. Whisking away the concern of amputation, nearly joyfully, I expelled the german shepherd fur in preparations for the Brooklyn Museum board to buy a $50,000 sculpture. Close to collapsing a Petah Coyne sculpture while creating it, somehow she forgave me and helped me get into Skowhegan. Coming up with $4,100 was the only thing that stopped my attendance.
Instead I flew to Banff Center for the Arts, in Alberta Canada. The experience was as spectacular as the scenery and studio mates from around the world, three of them later featured on Art 21. Logistics prevented a show of my work about our global environmental crisis at the public library but a National Gallery of Art board member bought one of the works upon returning to the US.
A Masters degree at Teachers College Columba University could not quash the desire for the ubiquitous MFA, fleeing to a sea of trees, determined I prepared applications in Vermont. Had I known a windowless space was awaiting me underneath the Art Institute of Chicago and a long city block away from all the sculpture facilities, continuing education in NYC almost could have sufficed, but where do you get the chance to have twenty five sculptors in the same program?
Twenty seven years of sole propietorship and thirteen years of solo homeownership have been some of the greater benefits of living in Chicago since 1992, with the golden goose of a studio.