I hold a BA from Scripps College, a teaching credential from University of California, Berkeley, and a MALS from Reed College. I am a member of the first graduating class of the MFA program in Applied Craft + Design (AC+D) from Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art (2011). During my two-year commitment in the MFA AC+D program, bamboo was my medium of choice. Being in the program was a gift I am most grateful for. I was transformed by this experience, made a major shift in my life, and launched a fulfilling creative practice.
While in the MFA program, I interned with Doug and Mike Starn helping them with “Big Bambu”—the dynamic, ambitious installation on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in June 2010. Spending a month with the Starns and their team stimulated thoughts for design of my own work and expanded my interest in exploring interconnectedness of all things, an underlying theme in their work as well.
Today I find myself immersed in bamboo. To the amazement of family and friends, bamboo lures me into the studio for long days of cutting, taping, measuring, drilling, threading, designing, arranging, problem solving. The repeating hand-eye rhythm of gluing and connecting crosscut bamboo pieces absorbs and mesmerizes me. I am in the flow. This is my meditation. The work is a giant puzzle. Not only do I crave the process of assembling the pattern, but I become the process of assembling the pattern.
My wide-ranging arts administration and curatorial professional and volunteer career includes past work, primarily at Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland Center for the Visual Arts, and the Portland Art Museum.
Passion for travel, exploration, and learning has taken me throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, and South and North America. I credit experiences in Japan as an incredible influence on my art and life as aesthetics found there profoundly affect my sensibilities. With bamboo, I express the multiple layers of its symbolism and Japanese aesthetic principles.
I have chosen to work primarily with crosscut bamboo, cut in different widths from bamboo culms of various diameters. My work interweaves scale and proportion—thin, medium, and thick crosscut bamboo sections, the interplay of light and shadow—to create living topographies.
I continue to explore two different directions within my creative practice. In the first, I connect hundreds of crosscut bamboo sections in circular shapes that when seen from a distance resemble the microscopic cellular structure of the bamboo and other living organisms. When bamboo is crosscut, the vascular bundles are revealed and appear as brown dots. Each dot, each bundle has a function of transporting nutrients throughout the plant. Crosscut bamboo illuminates not only its cellular structure, but also its natural inner beauty and strength.
The second direction of my work is a technique I call cross currents. Each crosscut piece is cut in half to form a semicircle and glued on end. Using different diameters and various widths, I create a wavelike or cross current pattern. Assembling the pieces allows patterns and rhythms to emerge that reflect the interconnection of forces in nature—from microscopic life to wave movement. I look to historic, modern, and contemporary designs and patterns to inspire our designs.
My studio in downtown Portland, Oregon is in the Skidmore Fountain area on the third floor of an 1872 brick building. During the past eleven years, I have completed sixteen commissions for public and private spaces. My Bamboo Art is in many collections including the Art in Embassy Program, U.S. State Department, Laos; Matakauri Lodge, New Zealand; The Hard Rock Hotel, Maldives; The Peloton, Portland; The N-V, Portland; The ARRAS in Bellevue; and other public buildings and residences in California, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
Exhibitions include PNCA Alumni Exhibits (2022, 2016, 2012); Freidman Memorial Airport, Sun Valley, Idaho (2022, 2021, 2016); Upfor Gallery (2019); Portland Japanese Garden (2016, 2012); PDX Gallery, Let’s Get Lost (2015); Portland International Airport, Concourse D (2014); Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art of the Midland Center for the Arts, Midland, Michigan (2014); Gallery Lulo, Healdsburg, California (2014); Gallery DeNovo, Ketchum, Idaho (2013); Museum of Contemporary Craft (2012).