I wanted to be a war photographer, an interior and textile designer, a painter, and an artist. I'm interested in power, history, war, and the experience of place and identity. In the 1970s, the Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, and the Cold War were the major world events of my childhood. These events marked my earliest memories and earliest questions. I wanted to understand what had happened and why. I wanted to find the truth. What drives me is a simple desire to understand.
I was born in a small town in rural Oklahoma. The town was a bleak place that had seen busier days during the oil boom. Only a few shops remained open on the main street. The next closest town was even smaller and was the birthplace of Woody Guthrie. His elegiac songs about America accurately capture the struggling working-class sentiment of Oklahoma.
My family owned the local steel and iron casting foundry for the region. The foundry repaired farming equipment and created steel for the state's infrastructure and commercial development. Most people in the community were raised to do things for themselves like grow vegetables, sew clothes, and build things. I've always appreciated people who work with their hands.
Drawing, painting, and creating is a way to see feeling visualized. The resulting visualization can start conversation and reflection. My intent is to facilitate understanding and to inspire critical thinking. Life is complex. It is a cycle of creation and destruction, and of comedy and tragedy.
I attempt to draw connections between opposites and contradictions to better see the complex realities. I believe in the healing strength of resilience and in empowering people to think and act for themselves. Moving forward requires the ability to face sometimes harsh and complex truths, to pause, and to reflect on where to go next.
Shows & Art Resume
American, b. 1971, Oklahoma, based in Seattle, Washington
Selected Solo Shows
2013 Artist's open studio, Seattle, Washington, The Building Fall Open Studios
2012 Artist's open studio, Seattle, Washington, Look+Listen
2012 Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, Missouri, LX-12
2009 Artist's open studio, Seattle, Washington, West Seattle Art Walk
2003 MoMO Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, Fluff
2001 Artist's open studio, Kansas City, Missouri
1995 Medina's Gallery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Collapsed Space
Selected group shows
2018 Seattle Artist League, Seattle, Washington, Big League Show
2002 The Late Show Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, Eternal-Glorious
2002 The Late Show Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, Road Kill
2002 MoMO Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, Learning to Swim
1999 The Late Show Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, Your Lyin', Cheatin', Bleedin' Heart
1998 1331 Union Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, Post Serial
1997 The Madrid Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri, Greetings From The Madrid
1997 The Zone Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, Fiber Substitute
Walz, Cara. Really red and larger than life The Pitch May 20, 2003, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Trafton, Robin. It's Not Fluff: Lad show illuminates war Kansas City Star May 30, 2003, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Kaufmann, Gina. This week’s best events. The Pitch May 22, 2003, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
1994 Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, Bachelor of Fine Arts
1989 Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation
Art and design
Artists often teach and work as designers to extend their function as artists in the community. In addition to my work as an artist, I design experiences for digital platforms and human-computer interaction. For over 20 years I've worked with some of the world's most recognized brands and organizations, including for great artists, performers, and theaters.
The world of everyday business and commerce requires imaginative designers that can elevate functional experiences, objects, services and transactions to become things that we welcome into our personal and public spaces.
Design is a process of understanding, translation, decision making and execution. Business runs on simple logic with practical goals for success and measurable progress. Designing for business feels easy compared to the emotional and ambiguous issues of art and painting. The world of business benefits from strong relationships with creative people. I will continue to encourage artists to work with designers, architects, and entrepreneurs in order to create experiences that enhance our lives.
Please see my experience design resume for more information.