Almost every one of my artist statement's begins with "nature is my biggest inspiration." Nature, rivers in particular, have fascinated me since I was a child learning how to whitewater kayak at Camp Illahee in Brevard, NC. Since childhood, I have continued kayaking and worked for five years as a whitewater raft guide (Sands Wildwater) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Rivers have taught me my most valuable lessons. They have taught me to think and act "responsively." The slightest change on a river can create challenges, adventure and opportunities. When life struggles come up, I envision the difficulty as a rapid and myself guiding through it.
For my artwork, jewelry and drawings, I gather materials (literally) and inspiration from the outdoors. I often mold natural objects (such as a twig), cast them into silver, bronze or gold and alter them into wearable art. Through my art, I want people to look closer at the small wonders of nature like the lines in tree bark, the buds of a stem and the grit of a pebble. As my business is growing, I am able to begin giving back to my world.
This twig ring simply wraps around your finger. The size is open, so it is adjustable. It is stack-able and lovely alone. To give back, I have chosen to donate $25 of every sale of this ring in sterling silver ($125) or bronze ($100) to Greenville's local organization, "Friends of the Reedy River."
I grew up in Greenville, as did my siblings, parents, grandparents, and you can keep going back generations... I remember the Reedy River from my childhood as being polluted and dangerous to be near. Never would I have imagined how celebrated it is now. As a Greenville native and resident, I feel it is my duty to help preserve, protect and continue cleaning our city's beautiful river. I hope that my twig ring sales and donations can help us continue to cherish this feature.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. - Loren Eiseley
For the past week or so, I had the honor of being the “Artist in Residence” for Christ Church Episcopal School, which is where I attended Primer - Ninth grades. I taught the Upper School Art students (all 7 classes of them 😳) how to pierce metal sheet to creatively make wearable and functional art. The students’ work is currently exhibited in the CCES Upper School Art Gallery. I highly recommend you check it out because I was shocked at how well the students did. Thank you to CCES also for this great feature on their website! It has been a wonderful experience, and I delighted to have been able to give back just a bit.
2018 marked my 3rd year with a booth in Artisphere, which is a nationally juried retail art show. Main Street through downtown Greenville, SC is closed down to make room for the 200ish artists. Each artist has a 10 x 10 foot tent to fill with their creations, and thousands of people peruse the festival over Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Mother's Day). Every year, the festival's application period hosts a different jury so there is no guarantee that you will get in.
I was the "Emerging Festival Artist Award Winner" my first year in the festival. For my second and third year, I participated in the "Semi-Precious Jewelry" category. This year, however, took me by surprise! I got into Artisphere at 2pm on the day before it started! This year, I had only gotten onto the waitlist prior. Talk about stress. I had to check into the festival the next morning at 6am. I got it together, however, and made it to the show. Like any last minute packing, a few minor display items were missed, but I was able to work with what I had. I have to also thank a few trips to CVS and a last minute Professional Party Rentals miracle to get my booth in order. I did it though, and I did it well!
But let's be real... I absolutely could not have done it without the support of my friends and family who took turns helping me set up, tear down, help customers, go on food runs and more. To you loving people who helped, I cannot say thank you enough. You sat through insane heat and sweat for me. THANK YOU.
Anyway, Artisphere has been a really good experience. Thousands of people walk by, ask questions, shop, try on my jewelry and more. In return, I expose them to something unique. Jewelry made out of found bark... What!? When visiting these festivals, remember that the artist has worked incredibly hard on what they are selling. They are EXHAUSTED, and this is how they make their livelihood. Enjoy it, and keep supporting your local art!
Wow! The past month has been incredible. Most of it was consumed with my mural on Stax Original Restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was collaborating with Furman University Art students, Stax and Pepsi. Today was our final day. As tired as I am, I still have to admit that I am a little sad that it is over.
Today we got to show Pepsi and Stax their final product. Everyone loved it, and eyes were tearing up. Projects like this show me how art does affect our community. As an artist, it is easy to feel down and uninspired, but today, I feel great. I feel like I made a tiny impact on our city, and I cannot wait to do it again. Until then, check out our mural in person, and "shop local" at Stax!
For me, it is on to my next project. Today, I have my first meeting on the City of Greenville's "Art in Public Places" commission. I am also gearing up for my upcoming 2D charcoal exhibition at the CB Caine Real Estate Gallery in downtown Greenville. The tentative date for the reception is July 19. I will confirm as it gets closer!
Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend everyone! Thank you as always for your continued support!
As any of you who follow me on social media know, I am working on a very large, public and outdoor mural. The Furman University Art Department asked me to be the artist and mastermind of the project. Each May session, FU Art leads two local murals. They choose an artist to design it and a class of students help paint it. This is Furman's third year doing it, and I was the artist chosen.
Our mural is located on the side of Stax Original Restaurant at Cherrydale intersection in Greenville, SC. Pepsi is sponsoring the mural. So far, the hardest part of the project was the designing phase. I needed to make sure Furman, Stax, Pepsi and myself were all represented and happy with the design. After MANY variations, meetings and some blood from the paper cutter, we came to a final design. I drew it in pen and ink and painted it with acrylic paint. Furman and I hoped to problem solve as much as possible before we ran into complications on the 39 x 13 foot wall.
As of today, we are a week into the work on the wall. The first 2 nights were spent projecting my drawing onto the wall in order to trace it. The projection was not super clear, so it took a while to get the drawing right. We are now several days into the painting part. A large portion of the wall has some paint on it, but we still have a long way to go. So far, Fox News and WYFF News 4 have both interviewed us!
This experience has already been a blast. It has reminded me of how much I love the academic art world. It is also so meaningful to be a part of a community project that people are excited about. And luckily, the Furman students may be the sweetest college kids ever. Anyway, stay tuned this month. We will have the it finished by the end of May.