As an artist yourself, what’s your inspiration and influences?
I am still inspired by simple and beautiful form; in the last 20 years, advocacy has been important in my art. But mostly, I work from deep inside, letting my intuition guide me.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve created?
The international work I did in El Salvador, helping to build an altar on the spot where the 4 Churchwomen were found in a shallow grave, really changed the way I work and create. It really changed my life. Working with the craftspeople in El Salvador, opened up a new way of seeing and working, I began to understand what it means to work in and on a sacred space and what it means to make sacred art – it certainly did not have anything to do with money or power tools. But with the simplest material and form, sacred work can be made in a most beautiful manner.
In your opinion, what’s the future for art and artists?
Artists are key players for the future, I would almost call them prophets. Artists are usually 50 years ahead of their time, coming up with creative interactive art work that takes us into the future. Many of our art students at Ursuline have gone on to graduate school, becoming teachers and art therapists. But, they also have become directors and community organizers, they have volunteered in the Peace Core and Americore, become delegates to developing countries, have become artists and designers within companies and large corporations.
Artists are the connectors, holding up the mirror for us to see ourselves… They help us change the systems when we don’t like what we see, and helps us see the beauty in our lives when we can’t see it for ourselves. Artists are motivators and inspire us to move forward and live a joyful life. Artists are advocates for the truth. In history, when you want to know what a civilization was thinking, just look at their art, especially there ceramic sculptures… it’s very telling.
How has the art program evolved over time? How will it change in the future?
I went to Ursuline College as a student. I have seen a wide spectrum of change. But some of the qualities I loved about Ursuline then, I still try to keep in the program. I remember feeling so secure in the studios that I could risk making new and large paintings and sculptures, we were encouraged to toss around new ideas and expressions, be authentic, so these are the qualities we have all tried to maintain, here at Ursuline College. The difference, of course, is certainly all the new technology we have now, this opens up such a wealth of new possibilities for us to blend and mix with all the old traditional ways of making a painting, design, sculpture, installation and time based art.
Give us your thoughts on the senior art show? Why is it important for a college to showcase students’ works?
The most important thing for me to do is to support the creative process of my students while working in any class, but especially as they are preparing to make a body of artwork for the senior show. Nurturing and guiding what is really already present within the student, is my main goal. Sometimes students don’t realize they already have all that they need right inside of them. Their expression is just waiting to be tapped into. My job is to encourage them to see their gifts and their passion. Every student showing their body of art work makes the world a richer more beautiful place to be. The students encourage all of us with their insightful views of society and their passion for making art.Time after time I am inspired by my students. That’s why I continue to teach.
What support does the studio art program provide to students?
The studios in the art department provides a safe space where students learn to express themselves authentically,ask questions, learn technique and skill, and then risk making art that will give voice to their own expression.
In one word describe the feeling you experience when you are creating art?
Obedient would be the word… the explanation would be my ability to listen to my intuition and own ground of knowing and create authentically from this ground.