The fact that I am a sixth generation West Virginian who grew up in the coal fields of deepest Appalachia has formed the backbone of my life’s work and fueled a boldness, authenticity and true cultural otherness to my obsession to draw. Throughout my career this influence has ingrained a very different focus in my work and given me the courage to push hard against expectations in my performances, poetry, set designs, multimedia presentations, videos, installations and paintings. From the outset I began on the fringe, selecting avenues of expression that were foreign and untutored to insure a more truthful search for the root of things without restraint. Now after a whole sea of this work behind me I have reversed my search from the edges toward the center. With the simplest of drawing media of chalk, charcoal, ink and water, I am engaged in wall size fields of anxious and aggressive marking producing a stationary work that won’t stand still. Undulating or rushing past, growing closer as one retreats as space and place are activated. With the knowledge of a 40-year career now distilled, I have the focus, experience and need to dig deeper into this work.
Currently living and working in Chicago, my professional achievements include numerous one-person exhibitions in museums and galleries, international fellowships and grants, and a long list of publications and critical support for my work. In addition to being an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College in Chicago for twelve years I have also had multiple residencies and visiting artist awards with universities that included workshops and lectures. A documentary film currently in production focuses on my unique career and explores my history.
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