I believe that all young people can be inspired to make art that is meaningful to them and can develop a lifelong appreciation for art. I am passionate about art, about stories of artists and their art, and about sharing my experiences of living and studying art in other cultures. My goal is to help students realize that they can make art that matters and to help them enjoy the diversity of different global communities through art.
I teach art full-time at Matthew Maury Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, for the Alexandria City Public Schools where I integrate stories and exploration of great artists and cultures with teaching studio techniques. I have taught afterschool art clubs in several Alexandria schools including Maury (2009 – present), Mt. Vernon Community School (2007 – 2012), and Charles Barrett Elementary School (2010 – 2011). I also have taught art as an intersession instructor at Mt. Vernon Community School (2005 – 2011) and as a preschool teacher at Alexandria’s Beverley Hills Church Preschool, an arts-based cooperative preschool that follows the Reggio Emilia philosophy and whose summer camp I directed in 2010 and 2011.
Art has been an amazing passport to the world for me. I earned my B.A. in Art from Duke University, an M.A. in Studio Art from NYU, and my teacher certification through the University of Virginia. In addition to art adventures in museums across the U.S. and Europe, as part of my masters degree I had the great experience of studying for two semesters in NYU’s Program in Venice, Italy. Prior to NYU I studied sculpture and printmaking in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, at Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes and Instituto Allende, and studied Yoruba and other Nigerian art as part of the University of Pennsylvania’s summer program at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. I also was a curatorial assistant for the historical African Art collection at the University of Witwatersrand Art Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has the most extensive and diverse collection of African Art on the African continent, and I served as a children’s docent for three years at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
I create my own art in a variety of media and have shown sculpture and other work in juried and group shows in Washington, D.C.; New York, New York; Venice, Italy; Lansing, Michigan; and Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Among my most recent pieces are three large works of public art in Alexandria, Virginia, including a thirty-six-foot mural of Alexandria’s waterfront in the Chinquapin Recreation Center Soft Play Room on permanent loan to the City of Alexandria that I did with long-time teaching and art collaborator Peggy Ashbrook; a twenty-five foot whale made of driftwood and bottles and other plastics pulled from the Potomac River; and a large American Flag installed in various places including the exterior of the Forum One Communications building during a Del Ray First Thursday celebration.
I also love the cross-pollination between art and other disciplines. I coordinated the educational programming team for the Natural Exploreum, which designed and built interactive environmental educational exhibits for children and developed the concept design for the Chinquapin Soft Play Room. I also taught in afterschool programs for the Ann Arbor Public Schools (1996 – 1997), Crossroads (Durham, N.C., 1992 – 1993), and the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science (Durham, N.C., 1991 – 1992).