Ever since completing my undergraduate education, I have structured my life in order to be an artist. I have always held “day jobs”, reserving the summers for complete immersion in the studio, whether that be through a residency or something I have organized on my own. I waitressed when I was in Houston as a Core- Fellow in 1985, and began teaching part time then, and was an artist’s assistant for Lynda Benglis when I first moved to New York in 1987. I also worked as a part time secretarial assistant at Newsweek Magazine from 1987 - 1996, and spent many years as a temp, word processing. Since 1997 I have concentrated purely on teaching as my day job, and am currently head of the art department at the Allen-Stevenson School, where I work four days a week. Most recently I also began teaching a graduate ceramic sculpture class at Pratt Institute.
I received my BA in 1984 from Wellesley College, graduating Summa Cum Laude with honors in sculpture. In 1993 I received my MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. I live in Brooklyn, New York where I have a studio, and I spend summers in Pecs, Hungary, where I conduct research and develop new work. Learning languages is one of my passions that I have been able to combine with art making, and studying Hungarian has been an exciting challenge and a necessity.
When I first moved to Brooklyn in 1987, I was in numerous group exhibitions at alternative spaces and galleries, and I did some curating. 1989 I ran a feminist discussion group at the alternative space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, called “Epoche”. The 1990’s was an exciting time and my work appeared in several queer exhibitions, film festivals and books. In 1993 I was just finishing up graduate work at the Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University where I had the good fortune to study with a brilliant faculty, and to be in a class of extraordinary, talented artists. It was a very exciting time, as many of us were in WAC, and were collaborating with each other to produce activist, feminist artwork. Lesbian Visibility took center stage, and my video “Red Jam Picnic” emerged from that era. The sheer existence of the exhibition “Coming to Power”, curated by Ellen Cantor at David Zwirner Gallery, was tremendous. I remember lots of dialogue, and the feeling of being part of a real community of feminist and queer artists that were making a difference. It has been exciting to be a part of the current re-staging of “Coming to Power” at Maccarone Gallery in New York.
I have been fortunate to participate in many residencies, from Skowhegan in 1984, to The Core Program from 1985 – 1987, The Millay Colony in 1989, Yaddo in 1990, 1991 and 1995. In 1995 I received a New Jersey Council on the Arts fellowship, and in 1996 I had a full fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center. In 1999 I received a grant from CEC Artslink to work on a textile project in the Republic of Georgia. I also was able to spend four months in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1999 as an artist in residence, where I honed my German, and I had a Sharpe Studio in 1999-2000.
It wasn’t until 2006, however, that my career began to gain some momentum. I happened to go back to working in clay in 2003, and by 2005 some galleries were beginning to pay attention to the medium. A 2005 residency at The Abrons Art Center was critical for the development of my work in clay, as was a residency at the MacDowell Colony in 2006.
1n 2007 I received a residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Industry Program, where I worked in the Kohler factory, a life changing experience. In 2008, I had a residency at Art Omi, and I received a Pollock Krasner grant, which supported my first trip to Hungary. If I hadn’t received a residency at Kohler, I never would have explored working in factories. In 2010 I received a grant from the Trust of Mutual Understanding, to do research in Hungary, which led to the creation of a symposium and exhibition. I helped organize a ceramic workshop with the Siklos Center for Ceramic Art and the Zsolnay factory, in Hungary in 2011. The work resulted in an exhibition which I co-curated, at Iliad Gallery in New York City, in October 2012, entitled: “Reviving the Light; New Zsolnay Eosin Ceramics”. In 2013 I received a Fulbright to Hungary, where I made my work at the University of Pecs, and at the Zsolnay Factory.
I am currently represented by Sandra Gering Gallery Inc. in New York, where I had a solo exhibition, “Les Guerilleres” in the spring of 2015. A booklet with an essay by Sheila Pepe, accompanied the exhibition. The largest piece that I’ve made to date entitled “Le Boulon” was 22 feet high, and was exhibited at the Untitled art fair in Miami in December 2014. I will be exhibiting a project at the Untitled art fair in San Francisco in 2017.
Articles and exhibition reviews include: “Les Guerilleres” by Stephen Maine, Art News, April 2015, “Ceramics in The Untitled Art Fair”, in Ceramic Art and Perception, issue #97, 2014. “Claytime” by Lily Wei, Art News, January 2014. “Farewell Ruins” in The Houston Press by Meredith Delso, March 2013. “Two Trippy Little Exhibits at Barry Whistler, in the Dallas Observer, by Betsy Lewis, February 2013. I was interviewed for The Brooklyn Rail, by sculptor Maria-Elena Gonzales, who has seen the development of my work over time, came out in April 2011. A review of “Nightwood” in the form of a letter from Daniel Wiener to Raphael Rubinstein, was printed in The Brooklyn Rail, in April 2011. I was interviewed by Suzanne Russell for Women’s Voices for Change, 2012. My work was included in a review of the exhibition “Paul Clay’ called “Artifacts, Feats of Clay” by Linda Yablonsky for The New York Times Style Section, in July of 2011. The piece “Janus of Flowers” was highlighted in Pin-Up Magazine, Issue 11, fall /winter. Other reviews include: “Out of the Wunderkammer” by Keith Recker for HandEye Magazine, in 2010, “Salt Peanuts Strikes Idiosyncratic Chord” by Douglas Britt for The Houston Chronicle, April 8, 2009, “Critics Pics” by Sean Carroll for the show “Salt Peanuts”, in Artforum.com, in March 2009, and “Art in Brief” a review of “Against Nature” by David Cohen for the NY Sun, June 14th.
My work has been included in several books and catalogues including: Macht Leder Lust, for the exhibition at the German Leather and Shoe Museum, Offenbach, Germany, 2008 My work is in the catalogue Flipside, edited by Fritzie Brown and Katherine Carl. My work is in Laughter, by Sheri Klein, published by I.B. Taurus, NY, 2006. The piece “Double Saddles” is in Corporal Identity, Body Language, the 9th Triennale for Form and Content, edited by Nancy Preu, Sabina Runde and Christine Schmidt-Gartner, New York: Museum of Arts and Design, 2003. I was very honored to be included in Lesbian Art in America, by Harmony Hammond, published by Rizzoli, in 2000, and in Artists to Artists a Decade of the Space Program, published by The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation. I was thrilled to see my sculpture Red Suede Saddles on the cover of Damn Fine Art by New Lesbian Artists displayed in the window of a gay and lesbian bookstore in New York City, in 1996.
I have an essay in the forthcoming book edited by Sharon Louden entitled: The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, to be published in 2017. I recently wrote a catalogue essay for Megan Lipke’s 2016 solo exhibition, “Pliable Channels” at Freight and Volume Gallery, NY, NY. I was happy to write an essay for the blog “Romanov Grave” in the spring of 2016.