"Pearl" is a life-size ceramic sculpture of a girl lying down, based on a homeless youth. The sculpture has soft, iridescent surface colors that reflect both concrete and precious stone, and appears simultaneously present and overlooked, vulnerable and precious.
It is estimated that each night in the greater Kansas City area, there are more than 2,000 unaccompanied youth who are living without a safe, permanent home – and without the maturity, skills, or resources of an adult. Some have run away or were forced out of their home, some may have exited foster care or the juvenile justice system. Some have crossed the Southern U.S. Border alone or were separated from their parents while seeking asylum, in the hope of finding a better life here. Unaccompanied youth are hard to recognize because they blend in with others and often do not want to stand out.
Contrary to popular belief, teenagers need and want meaningful, healthy relationships with adults to protect and guide them across the bridge into adulthood. This widespread problem for youth is layered and complex, so each adult must ask the question, “What can I do?”
***IF YOU ARE A YOUTH NEEDING HELP, text SAFE and your location to 4HELP (44357). You can also look for the SAFE PLACE® sign or call 1-800-RUNAWAY***
Of Water, Earth, and Sky
This project was intended for a three month display, beginning in August 2017, in Independence Plaza Park, Kansas City, MO. It is a life-size female figure, moving forward with arms extended, made from terracotta clay, paint, and fabric. The piece is inspired by the essence of women and the natural world, and is part of “In the Image and Likeness,” a series of works devoted to the divine spark in females. The creative power of women is unmatched and awe inspiring. However, many societal structures and media representations of women ultimately erode authentic feminine power. The physical and symbolic power of Mother Nature shows us quite otherwise and cannot be eroded. Clay is found in a variety of colors and places around the world and embodies the human qualities of being malleable, precious, and strong.
Many viewers thought the sculpture was a real woman praying or meditating in the park. Unfortunately, the piece was damaged several days after installation, highlighting widespread violence against women. After several weeks of repair, she is like new again, and moved to Scuola Vita Nuova School, a protected space on fenced grounds, with lights and security cameras. Moving her to this location is symbolic of what needs to happen with real, vulnerable females until they are safe everywhere.
In the Image and Likeness
In the Image and Likeness is a series of works devoted to the divine spark in females. Gold often symbolizes what is precious and valuable. In contrast, clay is abundant and found all over the world. Here, the ordinary clay is precious, as is every female.
Purlen (a closed rose that opens in the morning), terra cotta with underglaze and gold liquid leaf, 23"h, 2016.
Kamaria (like the moon), terra cotta with underglaze and gold liquid leaf, 23"h, 2016.
Monique (advisor), terra cotta with underglaze and gold liquid leaf, 23"h, 2017.
Aldora (winged gift), terra cotta with underglaze and gold liquid leaf, 23"h, 2016.
Exit included two life-size figure sculptures based on homeless youth. Made of unfired clay and left alone in downtown Kansas City winter for two weeks, these figures were extremely vulnerable to harsh weather conditions and public interaction, similar to what a real person would be exposed to in such circumstances.
Special thanks to the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Downtown Council for their support for this project.
Mother and Child
Mother and Child series is based on ideas of motherhood and caring for children regardless of birth relation or racial heritage. I made originals and cast in various clays. The beauty of the red, dark brown, and cream colored clays mirror the beauty in human diversity. Hands are modular and interchangeable, respecting differences in families.
Materials: Various fired clays with underglaze. Figures are 22"h and 12"h. Hands are life-size.
Veil series includes Divine Feminine imagery based on found objects and traditional religious wall hangings. I created new originals and altered each one to have more naturalistic features.
Fired porcelain with underglaze, gold liquid leaf, and found objects.
Sunset, terra cotta with underglaze and gold liquid leaf, 12"h, 2016
Being and Becoming
Being and Becoming was an exhibition of life-size wet and fired clay figures, found objects, and a video projection. The series of sculptures focused on early moments in childhood and the vulnerable and malleable nature of human life. This work also investigated the place of children in society, and what it means to grow and transform.
Price available upon request.
Figures are life-size unless otherwise noted.
Gift, unfired terra cotta, found object, and video projection, 2003
Invisible One, fired clay, 2005.
Forget Me Not, fired clay with glaze and decals, image transfer onto wall enclave, 2007
Untitled, fired clay with encaustic, video projection, 2001