Upcoming Publication: Parentheses Journal, Spring 2018

Not quite two years ago, I began an accident journey into poetry.  Writing, reading and drawing were the activities that comprised most of my time as a child.  But, as I grew older, my school curriculum provided no support for creative writing.  We studied literature and poems but were only given latitude to write analytical essays about them.  Under this method of instruction, poetry -- as a discipline to study along very strict parameters -- became something I grew to detest.

Two years ago, in my Studio MFA program at SAIC, I had the good fortune to begin developing a poetic voice under the tutelage of the incredible Pamela Sneed.  In the span of one semester, she cracked that voice -- which I didn't even know existed -- wide open, and by the summer, I found some of my earliest poems in the process of publication.

It is with heartfelt gratitude and excitement that I announce another upcoming publication.  The Spring 2018 issue of Parentheses Journal will feature a new poem that I wrote in December during my residency at the Vermont Studio Center.  The poem is titled "Ages" and reflects on a thirteen-year-old family photograph, recently unearthed in my garage.

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Poetry Reading, Black Cat Books

On Sunday, January 14th, I had the pleasure of participating in a poetry reading at the Black Cat Bookstore in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  Almost twenty local poets treated us to some of their recent work which encompassed life in New Mexico, spirituality, illness, and coping with loss of a loved one.  The poems were powerful in their sincerity, and it was an honor to be in the company of such wonderful poets!

Photo credits: artists Souheir Rawlings , Caz Love and Meagan Thompson. 

Photo credits: artists Souheir Rawlings , Caz Love and Meagan Thompson. 

EBLAR 2018 - Artist-in-Residence

On January 6th, 2018, I'll begin the EBLAR 2018 artist residency in Elephant Butte Lake State Park, New Mexico.  I  am looking very forward to this opportunity to dive into more painting and video work, as well as connect with fellow artists in this peaceful and beautiful setting.  Resident artists will also have a group exhibition in January -- details to come.

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VSC Writing for Artists Workshop

While I am writing this post in retrospect, I would like to note a writing workshop I recently taught at the Vermont Studio Center.  The entire project was the brainchild of NYC-based poet Rangi McNeil, author of The Missing (2003).  Many visual arts VSC residents were in the middle of applications for graduate school, professorships, fellowships and new residencies.  Many of these applicants needed help with artist statements, research statements and personal essays.  McNeil orchestrated the entire event and asked me to lead and teach, given that I straddle both visual arts and writing.  Our Writing Art Workshop was held Wednesday, December 20th at VSC's Mason House Library, and proved to be a beneficial experience for all participants.

Many thanks to Rangi McNeil, VSC and the many workshop attendees for your participation and support of the project!

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Greetings from VSC!

I am writing from beautiful Johnson, Vermont at the Vermont Studio Center (VSC) residency for artists and writers.  I will be present at this residency until just before Christmas. 

I am currently a resident on the basis of my poetry, so I am spending each day heavily engaged in the Maverick Studios.

I recently read a book which described the process of giving photos as a gift and in the spirit of gratitude, rather than the commonly spoken phrase "taking photos."  The following are images of the Vermont landscape and the VSC campus for your enjoyment.

I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season!

Vermont Studio Art Center - Writer-in-Residence

I am incredibly excited to accept and announce my participation in the Vermont Studio Center Artist in Residency program at the end of this year.  I have been admitted into the residency for my poetry.  I will spend a month in Johnson, Vermont deeply engaged in poetic and literary writing, as well as artistic and academic dialogue among other resident artists.

Throughout the residency's duration of the residency, I will maintain a series of blog entries detailing major events including visiting artists, performances, readings and presentations, etc.

For more information about the Vermont Studio Art Center, as well as upcoming residency and fellowship opportunities, please visit its website at http://vermontstudiocenter.org.

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Twisted Oyster Film Festival Chicago - Weight of Experience

I write this blog post still in the midst of coming down from my MFA thesis exhibition and many years of intense artistic and scholarly study.  In a sense, my body and mind are depleted and slowing rebuilding themselves.  Simultaneously, I am grateful and fortunate to have been filled with a repository of knowledge and a strong skill set in a wider range of art disciplines, including performance, poetry and video.

The video below is from my MFA thesis installation (What We Have Built: Expatriate, Sense of the Definite and Weight of Experience).

 

 

I am honored the have the opportunity to recreate this installation in an upcoming exhibition of digital, video and new media-based art in Chicago in the Twisted Oyster Film Festival at 33 Contemporary/Art NXT Level.  This exhibition, which will take place in October and November 2017, was curated and spearheaded by the amazing Pia Cruzalegui, a contemporary artist and curator based in Chicago.    

In addition, Pia has given me the opportunity to lead and teach an art education program on October 21st, 2017 to students in Chicago.  In future blog posts, I'll provide further details (and documentation!) of these upcoming events.

East Meets West Exhibition at Galaudet Gallery

I am pleased and honored to be a part of My Medicine: East Meets West, an art exhibition which addresses the critical importance of both Asian and Western traditions, practices and philosophies in medicine and healing.  This exhibition is through Galaudet Gallery's Eau Claire, WI location and will run from June 18th - September 18th, 2017.

Three of my drawings from the Interconnectedness series (2014 - 2015) have been selected for this exhibition.  The following is my statement/narrative regarding this body of work:

"This series of drawings is inspired by Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine, written by Shigehisa Kuriyama and originally published in 1999.  These works are created using handmade kozo paper made from traditional Japanese paper-making processes.  With pen and ink, I draw interconnecting lines and shapes that are rooted in both the imagery that comes from from my subconscious mind, as well as abstracted versions of various close-up photographs of foliage and human muscles.  These diverse images merge together to create new, hybridized forms that reference the interconnectedness — not only of the human body and nature — but also an individual’s inextricable relationship to the surrounding environment.  Interconnectedness is further referenced by the hand spun wool fibers which are attached to the back of each drawing to create an all-over network.  Lastly, the entire drawing is coated in a layer of translucent encaustic wax to create a physical “skin” which surrounds the image, conjuring associations of the protective nature of human skin, as well as its fragility."

Mantle Art Space Exhibition

Hello everyone,

I am honored to be a part of an upcoming group exhibition -- Excavations in Yellow -- through Mantle Art Space in San Antonio.  The exhibition's opening reception is this weekend, and since I am in the thick of thesis writing and artwork, it is likely I will not be able to attend.  San Antonio is a beautiful city, incredibly rich with history.  If you happen to be in the area, please stop by and support a new gallery space.