As an art instructor at the University of Minnesota for over 20 years I enjoyed working with many students and particularly enjoyed working one on one with students on senior projects, and then as a graduate mentor at the College of Art & Design. I felt very fortunate to work with a student/artist at the beginning or midway in their career or studies.
As a working artist I am aware of the multiple injections of information that are tossed out, sometimes well meaning and sometimes off hand. This information can be confusing but also exhilarating. My job as a mentor is to assist the protégée in sorting through and finding what is relevant to their work. There will be changes in the work and the working process. Guiding them toward a personal vision and voice, I encourage exploration and challenge them to explore new and relevant directions, materials, and content in their work.
There are many things that need to be addressed that often are not just in the studio. Writing statements that define the work and working process is necessary to connect with the world, such as applying for jobs, grants, shows, and being able to articulate and speak about their specific approach. This is a practice that I continue to emphasis when critiquing and discussing the progress of the work.
My experiences as an artist having shown my work in many venues, and as a curator who has put together works of other artists, as a panelist and juror, I can be very helpful to the protégé in structuring and arranging works for exhibition and critique.
These past four years as a mentor for the WARM program have been very rewarding.
I am amazed at the energy and thoughtfulness of the protégée and I am always in her corner, there to assist in technical, directional, and in any way that helps them to attain goals both short term and long term.
I enjoy working with a variety of artistic means and materials in pursuit of a personal vision and desire to say something about the world we occupy. A general description of the way I work is to say that I embrace a subject and through photo images, paintings/drawings, and journal notes I assemble the work as wall installations. My intention is to have the work read as journal. The subjects that have engaged me the most in the past few years have been, transitional landscapes, dealing with suburban development, ecological issues, and travel journals, and most recently places of special significance.
My first love as an artist was painting. For years it was my primary medium along with drawing and printmaking. One of the first paintings I did many years ago was a lovely landscape. I admired painters like Cezanne, Van Gogh, and others who could paint the land with a structural approach and I tried to move in that direction. But, as I would wander and photograph an area I became more aware of the degradation of the land through development and neglect. This became the subject of much of my work over the past few years. I have begun to move away from that subject.
Most recently I participated in a show dealing with special or spiritual places–special or spiritual to an individual. In collaboration with a writer our discussions centered on places that held or contained an emotional bond. We titled the project “This Place”. The work was presented in the form of two books the pages spread out on the wall with images and text showing two distinct and special places of personal meaning. The piece became interactive when we asked viewers to respond by recalling a special place of significant meaning to them. This new work is leading me to unexpected forms. One is collage which has never been a part of my working method but it allows me to incorporate a wider variety of medium and I find it very exciting. Second is creating books. I recently took a workshop in basic bookmaking at the Center for Book Arts and am now working on a variety of books in standard format.
Recently I have joined a group of artists who get together and discuss themes and ideas related to Judaism. I find it very interesting to work on ideas that have some order not readily visible. It is like searching in the dark to find some light, and that is very appealing to me as an artistic pursuit. It does also raise questions of how we ethically respond to nature and the physical world, our responsibility to the earth.
"Hudson River Journal," Installation, Mixed media–photo, painting, text
"Two Rivers" (Hudson & Mississippi Rivers), Digital photo prints
"Tzohar," Mixed media, collage/painting
"Study for Creation," Mixed media Collage
"This Place," Mixed media, digital photo with text, chalk drawing, cutouts