I earned an Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art with a focus in painting and printmaking in 2006 from The University of Alabama. During my studies I studied Art History and noticed, as many people do, that in the pages of art history women are outnumbered, but not for a lack of creativity or skill in the arts.
Years later, a role model of mine, Grandmother Day, taught me the art of making quilts. During our time working together we talked about memories of the past and hopes for the future. She pulled out scraps of fabric from the closet, and told me about all the quilts she gave as gifts to the people she loves. Countless women have spent their lives expressing themselves making quilts like Grandmother Day while raising children, feeding people, and building communities. But in the world of art and history these things are separate and relegated to the realm of craft.
I celebrate the quilt. Quilts tell the story of a culture, a family, and a history stitched by real people who have lived. Quilts bring people together through shared memories and common threads of experience. A quilt can communicate meaning through symbols and color. It is my goal to build upon quilt heritage of the American South, from the quilt history of the Underground Railroad to the quilters of Gee's Bend, Alabama, and say something new.
As an artist I seek to uplift the materials and discipline of quilt-making into art gallery space as statement of equality. By showing quilts on gallery walls I am giving voice to the rich histories from which I come. By bringing quilts out of the home, and into an art space, I hope to bring people together, to tap into shared memories, and to recognize that we are stitching history together now.
As an art instructor, I find that students create stronger work when they talk and interact in a cooperative, collaborative learning environment and through critique. In this way, I bring the spirit of quilt-making to the classroom: bringing the colorful differences that make students unique together through art. Focusing on students' different strengths, and arranging projects and lessons to serve a unified purpose, I hope to develop lifelong, face-to-face community building skills in my students in the same way that "quilting bees" do. In a world that has become increasingly digitized-- quick, cheap, remote, and disposable-- I see a great social need for meaningful and sustainable human connections like this.
In July 2018 I helped start an Art Collective in Jackson, T.N. to help build a thriving community of emerging and established artists working toward common goals. Additionally, I procured an art studio space at the Ned McWhorter Cultural Arts Center in August 2018, and work there full time. You can read more about my studio practice and the formation of Art Collective on this website's blog tab.
Silver Gelatin Print, 2005