Art With Conscience
I am a visual storyteller. My themes broadcast our existential threats: science denial, global warming, assaults on our US Democracy and basic human rights. Since the 2016 election, my art shifted from celebrating nature in Stick Stories, to sounding the alarm about a multitude of crises including conspiracy theories, the staggering increase of gun violence, and the global pandemic.
When the COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandate was announced in Santa Rosa, CA in March 2020, we were in shock. Initially, I embraced the isolation since I crave solitude to do my work. However, when we were ordered to evacuate for eight days from the Glass wildfires, it was déjà vu. In 2017, we fled to safety from the Tubbs fire. Both times, the tireless efforts of firefighters saved our property from the inferno that roared through the drought-parched creek 30 yards from our back door. We returned home to see the smoldering ruins of a well-known pottery, a horse ranch, and vineyards edged by mountains and their blackened skeletal trees close to our own community where six homes were lost. My husband, with a few neighbors began the continuing fight to clear the creek of fire-inciting plants. Eight months later, wildflowers stubbornly poked their heads through the ashen creek bed. Then came torrential rains that shifted and smoothed the bed of rocks into a walkable path. Revealed are bits of black obsidian with chiseled edges, reminders of the Miwok people who once dwelled here in Sonoma County. Through these events, I explore the dichotomy of nature in my art.
My need as an artist to create order out of chaos is tested in these hyper-chaotic times. The narrative leads me through a range of media where I rotate between 2-D and 3-D artworks. I paint and draw. I construct assemblages using recycled materials. I am compelled to shout out the universal threats and disasters...to implore humans to act with conscience.