Working on art happens everyday for me. Cutting and gluing. Fits and starts. Experiments and exercises. Imaging the cosmos in minutiae and the delicate in the large. This is what art takes. From this rambling, I create a collage notebook, journals, handmade books. Sometimes I might make a movable puppet or a collection of creatures made from paper bags and printed with black and white dots. I incorporate linocut prints cut to bits, gelli-printed papers, letters from people I no longer know. I like to let the materials tell me what to do next. Sometimes I get more serious and take out photos of my ancestors and try to reform them. I might think of a hard life and then add something to that life that they might have dreamed. In gluing all these musings down I can offer to let them relive it in another light.
I have no formal art education but worked in the field of art for over twenty years as a curator, research and catalog assistant, art educator, and community arts collaborator. I was born and raised in New Mexico where my ancestors lived as folk artists, sheep barons, landowners, founders of cities, governors, and women of both high and low means.
I graduated cum laude from the University of New Mexico with an MA in American Studies and an MFA in Creative Non-fiction. With my wits and papier mache skills, I got my foot in the door of curatorial work fabricating props for the CARNAVAL exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) in Santa Fe. My curating life continued over the years at MOIFA, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) in Albuquerque, and in 2018 with work on New Deal Art in Gallup, New Mexico.
Alongside curatorial work, I engaged in the creation of giant parade puppets in the service of social justice. I created and led the building of puppets, masks and paraphernalia for “We Art The People Folk Art Fest” (via Albuquerque’s OffCenter Community Arts which serves artists who have little or no access to art-making space or supplies); for the Border Book Festival in Mesilla, New Mexico, working with non-English speaking women, and for multi-national Gigantes for the Albuquerque Tricentennial. I practiced art daily in a nine year position as Visual Arts Director of Circo Latino Summer Institute as well as with Working Classroom, which serves underprivileged youth. During these years I planned and taught over one hundred art workshops in community venues.
I retired from a formal occupation and experimented with printmaking processes and mixed media. I always return to the realm of paper (and cutting it up.) I am most at home with collage, and creating artist books, including zines, pop-ups and non -traditional bindings. I am new to gallery exhibition but recently displayed my own exhibit of 100 mixed media hands created over lockdown.