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There's No Place Like Home - MFA Thesis

My formative years have always been the inspiration for my artwork. I grew up on a farm in Northeast Kansas, under a big sky with open views of the fields and pastures, farmsteads scattered here and there. I learned a lot about hard work and work ethic, and what it takes to survive in an often harsh and unforgiving environment. I have come to appreciate the beauty in simple things and traditions.

Experiences from my upbringing materialize in objects and narratives, the themes ranging from domestic activities taught by the women in my life, to the hands-on, “dirty” work learned from my dad, to childhood pastimes. I create objects, collections and viewer experiences that reflect my formative years and home, frequently overlapping gender specific objects and humorously embellishing on the truth. I use a variety of materials and processes including cast iron, fabric, found objects and installation, to realize my concepts and generate curious contradictions within the work.

The purpose of this artwork is to give permanence to memory and provide viewers with the opportunity to encounter moments from my life that have shaped me. Through these encounters, I hope to evoke a sense of nostalgia and create a relationship with the viewer. Whether the viewer finds commonalities from their own childhood within the experience, or feels a disconnect with my home causing them to long for a more familiar place, the viewer joins me in a journey back home. After all, there is no place like it.       

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