Artist, BAC Faculty Member
Photo by Dannielle Simpson
How did you arrive at the Brookline Arts Center?
Right after graduating from college, my thesis show, “Insert Title Here,” (yes, that’s what it was really called) traveled to the gallery at the BAC. But it wasn’t until a year and a half later that I started teaching here. My roommate had come across a posting for a ceramics teacher and passed it along to me with the message, “This was meant for you!” She was so right.
Tell us about your background. How did you become interested in art?
My grandmother, Doris, always supported creativity and self-expression. I can remember from a very young age experiencing the sensation of making at her house. Whether it was creating a sculpture out of dominos or painting the walls of her basement/studio, we were always making together.
As a teenager, I found myself feeling more comfortable with creative people. The art room became my safe haven where I began to develop my career working with and for local New Jersey artists, knowing full well this is where I am most successful. Now I find myself early in my own art making career, as well as continuing to work with other Boston creatives.
What passions do you bring to the BAC community?
For me, it has always been important to learn outside of the classroom. Not every lesson can be taught in the normal school day, so it is really essential for me to have the opportunity to teach independent from a typical school setting. The freedom I have at the BAC allows me to develop lessons specific to my students, depending on what they need to boost their creative and critical thinking skills.
What do you enjoy most about the BAC?
The combination of faculty and students, of course! Everyone really seems to jive. I have worked at many places, but here the community really seems to mesh well together. The amount of fun I get to have with my fellow teachers and students is really wild. I have never had such a great time at work!
What was your favorite childhood art project?
Oh boy, that’s a tough one. I was constantly making as a child so there is a rather large amount of work to choose from, all still in my parents’ house, by the way. One project that stands out was one that my 1st grade teacher said was “significant” and “revolutionary.” We were drawing scenes about Thanksgiving and I drew a picture of a turkey hiding behind a bush. The tail feathers of the turkey were peeking out around the top of the shrub. It made everyone laugh and I remember being really proud of it. Every now and then my mom will hang it back up on the fridge just like she did when I was 6.
Who are some of your art heroes?
There are too many to even keep track of, but being the person that I am, I try to retain a list of artists whose work jumps out at me. The list is at 136 now, but there are many people missing. To name a few who are more significant: Mona Hatoum, Louise Bourgeois, Lynda Benglis, Ashley Hagen, Hannah Wilke, and Cornelia Parker are those whose work has help shaped my own. On a more local level, the work and mentoring of Mags Harries, Audrey Goldstein, Deborah Davidson, Debra Weisberg, and Randal Thurston have changed my life and work in more ways than one. Without them, I would not be who I am today.