“If you need to invoke your academic pedigree or job title for people to believe what you say, then you need a better argument.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
Credentials can sound dry, but they are really about life experiences and you can find mine on the Resume page.
My academic experiences (BA, MFA) confirm years of working with peers at a high level, under the scrutiny of others who have already proven their merit. They mean I completed a course of study in the challenges of the wider, more serious world of art. It was not an end itself, it was just the beginning. I committed to being an artist.
“A short philosophy of teaching might be, Love your subject and convey that love; all else is secondary.” —J.David Jackson, Physics
I taught full time at the college level in a large art department for many years. Teaching meant learning and I loved it. I learned from my colleagues, planning and creating coursework that was challenging and facilitating learning and growth. Being in the studio or classroom with people who showed up, worked hard, and grew in ability and understanding was immensely satisfying. I told my students that I learned more than they did. Now, I follow their success in the field with happiness and pride.
I have to display what I have seen to people.—Ala Bashiri
Exhibitions and collaborations provide essential experiences for artists. It’s not always comfortable for me to exhibit, but it isn’t art without an audience. It’s a challenge every artist faces. I like sharing my work, but showing always makes me feel vulnerable. I put that feeling to use by watching and listening carefully to how people respond. Approval is nice, but I want to see if it gives a person pause—even better if it makes them think and find it meaningful. I learn so much when they share their thoughts with me. (Share yours on the Contact page.)
There was an unconscious collaboration between artists. Whether you agreed or disagreed was of no consequence... What does happen when artists meet is that we are able to see more clearly the unfolding of character as time goes on. —William Baziotes
Working in a community with local, national, and international artists is a particular joy and gift. Artist residencies, Visiting Artist/Faculty gigs, and community projects expand my vision. Exploring new places, meeting new artists and making friends, broaden my understanding of the world and expand the limits of my work. Working in many countries on four continents will do that to an artist. It helps that travel comes naturally, and I have an adventurous spirit. I used to keep a packed bag in the closet, in case an opportunity arose.
Now I travel less, but I live in a beautiful place: a small town in the Alleghany mountains of far western Maryland. Being a “city kid,”I never thought I’d live in a place like this, but it’s a new visual and personal challenge for me, and... so far, so good.