Statement / Bio

I grew up on a farm, so it is partly in homage to my father and partly in humor that I sometimes refer to my process as reverse farming.  “Harvested” materials (tea and tree leaves, sometimes wild berries, fermented juices, and tannins) paired with rusted iron objects (often old farm implements) makes possible a wide variety of virtually permanent color marks on silk through direct contact printing.  Since 2007, I have also adapted shibori pole wrapping techniques to broaden the scope of my landscapes and farm stories which develop organically—outdoors, where, as in real farming, the season, temperature, humidity and timing affect the outcome.  

In the last few years my focus has reached beyond the farm stories to expose the environmental catastrophes that are occurring all over the country as the oil industry drills fracking wells by the thousands resulting in widespread water contamination.   

I live on two and half acres in rural Madison County in Southern Illinois with my husband.  My studios, one outdoors and one indoors are at our home which is surrounded with over 50 trees many of them walnut and sassafras trees which have played a part in my fiber art.  I was a high school art teacher for 25 years before returning to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where in 2003 I earned an MFA specializing in printmaking.  My interest in textiles began years ago, but during grad school I developed alternative and organic printing techniques that I have continued to work with since then.  

I am a member of the Surface Design Association and Missouri Fiber Artists.  I have participated in over 70 juried shows and invitationals including three solo shows and have won a number of top prizes.  In 2011, I curated and participated in Collaboration: Reaping and Sewing, an Innovations in Textiles exhibit at the Jacoby Art Center.  

In 2014, I co-curated and participated in an international show, From the Inside Out - Felt, Paper, Textiles: Revelations in Natural Mark Making, which was held at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  A catalog of the entire exhibition has been made.  

In 2015 five shows kept me busy, one of which involved my curating a new collaboration show, Material Revival, that reunited several members of the original group for Innovations in Textiles 2015 at Edwardsville Arts Center.  

2016 I concentrated on finishing the exhibition catalog for From the Inside Out and in the late summer I began a whole new series of works several of which will be part of at least two exhibitions in 2017.  I've been invited to participate in Making It in Crafts III  which opens on May 12 at The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette in Indiana.  In October my work will be part of another invitational...Imprints / Works from Nature at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, Illinois.

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