As a professional artist, my artistic work includes mosaics, imaginative drawings in scratchboard and clayboard, mixed-media collages, murals, and illustrations. My commissioned mosaic mural Nearly Spring, was installed at the Free State Brewery in downtown Lawrence, Kansas, in 2014. In addition, I have widely exhibited theme-based bodies of work. Past exhibits include Linked in Spirit (a visual commentary on multi-layered experiences), Meetings and Other Mysteries (about ways that people come together), Weathering the Storm (based on stories of perseverance), The Experience of Farmers (about the joys and struggles of farming) and Two Mothers Two Sons (about mother-son relationships). I produced The Experience of Farmers with support from two artist residencies: one at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center in Minnesota, and the other in Glasco, Kansas with a Kansas Arts Commission grant. I interviewed farmers for this project, and incorporated text from these interviews into my art. “Her emphatic interpretations of others’ stories are, in the end, both community building and stereotype defying,” wrote Rick Mitchell, former gallery director of the Lawrence Arts Center, about my work. (see Exhibits)
My creative work also includes teaching, facilitating community art projects, illustrating, and writing. I co-authored with Dave Loewenstein the book Kansas Murals: A Traveler’s Guide (University Press of Kansas, 2006) with grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kansas Arts Commission. Our book received a Kansas Notable Book award from the Kansas Center for the Book. I have taught art classes at the Lawrence Arts Center for many years, and have facilitated classes in many other settings, among them Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas (as an adjunct teacher), Family Promise (a program for homeless families), GaDuGi SafeCenter (a rape crisis center), and the Community Kitchen (a soup kitchen). I have contributed editorial illustrations for a variety of publications, among them Lawrence Magazine, KU Giving, Kansas Alumni, Oread Engineer, Pitch Weekly, The Mennonite, Bloomington Confidential, a KU Endowment Association fund appeal, and the River City Reading Festival.
I have also received the following awards and honors: the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission’s Phoenix Award (for outstanding artistic achievement in the Visual Arts category, 2014), the Silver Award: CASE District VI Excellence in Fundraising Materials for my KU Endowment fund appeal illustration (in combination with Amanda Warren’s graphic design) (2004); Kansas Artists Postcard Competition Series XXII winner (1999); Artist in Action Grant award, Smoky Hill River Festival (1999); Mini-fellowship, Kansas Arts Commission (1998); First place in 2-D at Art in the Park in Lawrence (1997); Edith L. Gilbertson Scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1991-92); Vilas Award Scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1991-92); and four artist residencies in Glasco supported by grants from the Kansas Arts Commission (1998, 1991-2000, 2001, 2008).
I have a B.A. degree from Bethel College (N. Newton, KS, 1988) and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI, 1992).