How did you first become interested in art?
My parents worked in the arts, theater, and music industries, so I was given art lessons as a child. Also, I grew up in NYC, where I attended many Broadway shows and saw exhibitions in museums and galleries. I still visit museums and of course get many ideas for myself and my students. Later I majored in art and art education at the City University in New York and many times museums were our classrooms.
Who or what inspires you? Why?
I am very attracted to fibrous textures. Whether paper or fabric! I tend to collect these and buy them wherever I see them. Henri Matisse and Robert Motherwell are great inspirations to me since I work in out-of-the-box collage and Paper Mache sculptural boustierres (layering fabric and paper). Matisse and Motherwell’s work in overlapping shapes texture and color and how they react to each other ignites many ideas for my own work.
What led you to become an art teacher?
When I was little, I used to play teacher. It was not the ABC’s but art. I loved making things. In college, I was the assistant to the head of the Art Education Department. She gave me a lot of responsibilities which I loved and took on easily. It was not until I moved to New Mexico and Colorado that I began teaching art. I started my own small business around the area and have taught many places including Green Box Arts Festival and 5 Artist in Residence programs including the PPLD, but Bemis has always been my home base. I have been working here for over 3 decades nonstop.
What about your background or life experiences have created special or unique connections with students?
I am an outgoing person who has always loved to help people. In teaching art, I feel I help people of all ages by inspiring them to get in touch with their creative process. Everyone is creative in their own way! One of the first comments an adult says to me on the first day of class is that they can’t draw a straight line. Well, my Mixed Media classes encourage marks or scribbles. Often, from my experience, I help them break the fear factor of just trying things out. Especially after COVID, art brings one back to themselves.
If you could place 3 tiny houses anywhere in the world to live in, where would you put them?
An apartment in Manhattan
An apartment in Paris
A house in Sicily
What was the last book you read and loved?
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. A fabulous read on Creative Living Beyond Fear. It addresses all forms of creativity and offers insights into the nature of inspiration. It is the kind of book you would want to own and read more than once to spur one’s joy for a creative life.
If you could time travel, when and where would you go?
I would have loved to be an artist under FDR’s New Deal Program based in New York and being able to get jobs in other cities or workshops such as Santa Fe and Colorado Springs. What a fabulous time for artists, many of whose work is seen because it is public and was federally funded.
What’s your “dance like nobody’s watching” song?
Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac, and Gypsy Woman by the Impressions
What’s on your bucket list?
Paris, Venice, Israel and getting my Canoe.
If you had to write a life ‘motto’ what would it be?
Art Save Lives!
Anything else you’d like to share?
I also work with the Legacy of FDR’s New Deal programs through A New Deal for the New Deal of Southern Colorado chapter of which I am president. We are a chapter of the Living New Deal. We just had a major program at the Pioneer Museum in November