I was born deaf in Youngstown, Ohio, and was mainstreamed in schools without any other deaf classmates. During my childhood, we moved to Lake Como, Italy. This time spent in Europe had an impact on my artistic background.
I was educated at the International School of Milan in Italy where classes consisted of hearing foreign students who may or may not have an understanding of the English language. It was in this world of different cultures that I felt I belonged. I studied art in school and was exposed to the European arts. After six years of living in Italy, my family moved back to America to live in Connecticut.
I attended public high school and I took private art classes outside of school since art classes were not offered due to budget cuts. I received a BFA in Communication Arts (illustration / graphic design) and an MFA in Printmaking / Stained Glass from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. During college, I worked professionally in the Chelsea district of Manhattan designing and airbrushing patterns on fabrics. I taught for 41 years at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf's Department of Visual Communication Studies in Rochester, New York as a Full Professor. I have also worked as a stage designer for Rochester's Women's Community Project Theatre and have exhibited artwork nationally. Currently, my sketchbooks are in The Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Art Library.
The artwork is made from handmade paper using abaca, cotton pulp, pieces of silk, dried plants collected from my garden or found on nature walks, and other assorted textural elements. Dye is added for a desired tonal color effect. The titles of my artwork come from an interpretation of what I feel and think at the moment of creation. Textures are derived from observing and collecting unusual natural objects while I am biking or hiking in the country. From the textural memories, I create and manipulate images into patterns. Pattern images can be vertical, horizontal, curved, diagonal, heavy, symmetrical, asymmetrical, ordered, tense, loose and any variety of lengths or widths. Acrylics and oil pastels are used to create non-objective pattern images.
|Upsweep of Spring||Collage||2006||58 x 71 cm||