Artists Statement

I am a storyteller, and while there is much truth in the stories I tell, many times it is exaggerated or embellished to construct fantastical depictions of reality. Personal identity is the overall theme of these narratives, which is heavily influenced by my upbringing on a farm. The dualities of rural life, particularly blurred gender norms, growth and decay, merriment and misfortune, and the restoration of the well loved, contribute to the numerous layers of conceptual development in my work. Agrarian based ideas of resilience, adaptation, tradition, community, and preservation, also play a role in this process.

To illustrate my narratives I employ recognizable imagery, creating objects and spaces that include every last detail. They do not begin as grandiose tales, instead I choose mundane items and daily activities as a starting point, elevating them to a place of prominence through alteration. This frequently results in comedic contradictions of material or commonly associated characteristics, addressing my humorous and paradoxal personality. Visual characteristics of the Midwestern landscape and architecture, such as saturated color palettes, unobstructed, subtle topography, agricultural and mechanical attributes, geometric patterns, and rustic wear and tear are apparent in the aesthetic features of my work as well. These elements create pleasing repetition, contrast, harmonious design, and speak to the documentation of time and human intervention.

The tangible rendering of my work is achieved through a variety of media and techniques. Materials are initially chosen to suit the concept or the object being created, with consideration given to the physical outcome. Relating to the performance of exhaustive storytelling, I am most drawn to media that require meticulous methods to transform, for instance cast metals and smithed steel. In addition, the materials I use relate in some way to childhood pastimes, both on the farm and in the home, including fabricated steel, reclaimed wood, dirt, and fabrics. I also enlist found objects and collections as components in my work, taking into account what they may contribute symbolically and visually.

Often dictated by process and manipulation, trial and error, the final product of my creative endeavors are works that give recognition to blue-collar lore. These works also give permanence to memory and perpetuate childhood pastimes. It is my intention that the objects and spaces I create resonate with the viewer, evoking feelings of curiosity, inquiry, amusement, or a longing for something familiar.