An eclectic life path brought me to Northampton in summer 2017, where I am creating acrylic collages, watercolors, and #WhatAGayDay coat racks. I’ve lived in Colorado, Arizona, Michigan, Kentucky, and Iowa. My minor in physics taught me the wonders of a soldering iron. Getting a PhD in African American History showed me the power of stories and representation. And coming out and falling in love in my 30s taught me to prize personal connection in each moment of the regular day. I began making collages in 2009 after feeling images and emotions weigh on me. In 2011, I began community art classes in Kentucky and Iowa. Otherwise, I am self-taught in art.
To create the PEMA acrylic collages, I start with a collage of random shiny and/or textured materials. I then paint over that with a dark thin wash. After it has dried, I stand back and let shapes wash over me. I turn it upside down and sideways until an image emerges. I then paint around and in that form.
Each watercolor is inspired by someone I saw during travels around the country who captured my imagination and heart.
The What a Gay Day coat racks start as line drawings based on photos of couples and families in queer history and/or my own imagination. I then burn the drawing into pine and cedar planks with a soldering iron. Sanding, painting, and staining gives each piece its own unique color palate. Finally, I add knobs and hooks to create a functional piece of art to bring a bit of gaiety and LGBT strength to your daily routine.