Writing artist statements and coming up with clever titles for works is probably the least pleasant aspect of promoting one’s work and sense of purpose as an artist. You gotta be somebody; the works need context. Well, I tend to like to create an “atmosphere” with a body of work – something palpable, a space that exudes personality and meaning as the viewer encounters a collection of works. This is the hardest part about most *group* shows: they fail in their coherence. Artistic statements seem like an effort to overcome this incoherence. I hope to be able, one day, to dispense with the artist’s statement and look forward to the works standing on their own…
For now, here is what I’ve drafted…
In the Entrance
The works in this room are collages produced during “Peace Tiles” workshops in 2007. Peace Tiles are intimate mixed media works (paint, glue, crayon, etc) on wood panel that explore personal stories related to a shared theme. When combined, Peace Tiles produce vibrant murals that reflect the bonds we share through experience – unique and individual, and yet each one a part of “the whole.”
The tiles here were made by participants ranging in age from 15 to 60, spanning the world from Morocco to Senegal to Cabot. Known Peace Tiles murals have been exhibited or permanently installed in India, Switzerland, Los Angeles, South Africa, North Carolina, Senegal, Michigan, Louisiana, Lesotho, and British Columbia.
Since 2005 the Global Peace Tiles Project has been used to engage more than 2,500 young people around the world on issues affecting their lives. These include global HIV/AIDS and children in conflict. Depending on their purpose, workshops are structured to emphasize the creative/self-expressive, educational, self-advocacy, and therapeutic qualities of creative dialogue.
To learn more about the Global Peace Tiles Project or to get involved, please visit www.peacetiles.net.
About the Artist
The works on display in the dining room deal with archetypes, time, and narrative. Not that I’ve been obsessing over this lately but as I settle into my 30’s and I watch people I am bound to age, the idea that we are all these fleeting collections of rich experience and stories, the mythical qualities the “cycle” become more compelling to me. The works of “mystic” artists like Joseph Beuys, James Turrell, and even Andy Goldsworthy take on new meaning. Simple, enduring objects – particularly those produced by nature – become alternately whimsical and fetishistic fascinations. In many ways, the works here are also simple technical studies in texture and color.
I’ve been working in collage and mixed media for over 20 years. Right now I’m infatuated with the idea of “reinventing” collage by achieving more painterly qualities with the technique. In the past I have experimented with installation works and sound. Some of my work has been on limited exhibition in Washington, DC, the Dakar bienale in Senegal, and Egypt. I’ve studied at the University of Southern California, the Corcoran School of Art and the School for International Training. I blog (right here!) at www.mixedmedia.us.