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I am a multidisciplinary artist using drawing, painting, sculpture, video, coding, mapping, and other processes to interpret and reinterpret personal, community, and societal narratives about identity, memory, belonging, (dis)placement, (in)visibility, erasure, and the unspeakable. The common thread that runs through all my work is to look at old realities anew, to confront those realities, reflect upon them, shape them, and transform them. Whether through studio practice or community-engaged processes, I believe we can all be creative catalysts for change.

I was born and raised in Nebraska, a middle-class Black girl with two parents who were professionals. Growing up, I attended two churches on Sunday—the Methodist (white) one down the street for Sunday school and the African Methodist Episcopal one for church services. I attended public schools and public universities, graduating with degrees in journalism, studio art, and geographic information science. I’ve worked in mass media, health-related non-profits, and for myself. 

Each of those fairly unremarkable facts—and others not shared– colors my artistic practice. To borrow a phrase from professor, geographer, and prison abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore, my Black experience may not be entirely unique but it is distinct, producing a consciousness that guides my interpretive, analytical, and practical artistic practice. My current work focuses on three interrelated themes: (1) geographies, space, and place; (2) contemporary state and societal violences; (3) legacies and vestiges of historical violence and trauma. 

My process begins with reading, research, and writing. Often, a specific artwork begins with a word of a phrase that prompts an imagining.  I then move to collecting journalistic and archival photos as references, a nod to my continuing relationship with my first profession. Then comes experimentation in my studio, (re)solving questions relating the philosophical, technical, relational, spatial, temporal, and practical aspects of the works.

Through my art practice, I seek to give voice to and bear witness to truths. Playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht wrote that there are five difficulties in truth-telling: (1) courage to tell the truth, (2) keenness to recognize the truth, (3) skill to manipulate the truth as a weapon, (4) judgement to select those in whose hands the truth will be effective, and (5) cunning to spread truth among many. There are also corollary difficulties in truth-listening, about which Brecht did not write; I ponder both truth-telling and truth-listening in my work. Amidst the noise of the everyday, there can be a place of contemplation, if only we are courageous enough to enter it.  

Truth-listening and truth-telling both serve a larger purpose. Curator Rosa Martinez wrote, “The artist may be a healer, an inventor of worlds, a worker who activates social relationships, a researcher seeking lost paradises, an electrician generating new connections, a theoretician studying cultural identities and their displacements, or a laborer dismantling the hermetic constructions of the powers that be.”  

Martinez’s statement offers a challenge to me as an artist, to rise to those larger purposes. I accept that challenge. In my work, I am sometimes am inventor, sometimes an activator/activist, sometimes a connector, sometimes a researcher, theoretician, philosopher. In all of these, I try to create a space critical thinking, critical feeling, critical reflection that may lead to a re-imagining of possibilities.