I was lucky to be born with an ability to translate what I see in the world onto paper. I spent unending hours as a small child during long northeast winters trapped indoors exploring the limitations of colored pencils while developing fine motor instincts and a basic love of making. My parents were encouraging, my school experiences supported my efforts but somehow by the time I was 12, I lost the spark and moved on to the things many young boys find more captivating – sports and girls. I only rediscovered these long lost instincts in an archeology lab course as I pursued my B.A. in Anthropology. On a whim I took an intro to drawing class the following term and it all came back to me, reminding me of an identity that had been buried for some time. Soon after, I was back in school again – this time to see what would happen if I devoted some real time to this endeavor and see where this path might take me.
While fully intent on pursuing a career of art-making after graduating from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, I instead ended up spending almost three decades assisting artists with the promotion of their work and ideas. Working for a range of institutions with incredible legacies including Portland Center of the Visual Arts, The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Salem Art Association and Contemporary Crafts Gallery, I continued to find creative ways to highlight the wealth of creativity in our community. As Executive Director of Contemporary Crafts, I led a $7 million effort to transform the organization into the Museum of Contemporary Craft, creating a platform to celebrate the Pacific Northwest’s impact on the history of craft in this country.
It was an enriching 25 years, helping to produce other artists’ work and trying to figure out ways to build community around art and artists. These were amazing experiences that kept me inspired and committed to playing a role that I knew was so very important in helping these artists achieve their personal visions. Along the way, I was fortunate to work with some of the world’s most talented individuals as well as an amazing group of local and regional artists whose work has left an incredible legacy here in the Northwest.
But I was trained as an artist and knew someday that it would be a part of my life again. My original decision to go to art school evolved from my love of drawing. Once in school, I discovered a range of new ideas that were developing that were both intellectually stimulating while feeding my aesthetic instincts. I kept up with the drawing but strove to do something that at the time felt more relevant and personal. I began building objects using a range of materials to explore my interests in light and space. These manifested themselves in a range of multi-media pieces often using translucent materials to allow light to delineate space and pattern.
In 2009 life circumstances allowed me to do some personal exploring and realized it was time to figure out a way to uncover these long dormant skills. I picked up a pen and while never spending a great deal of time with this tool even in my productive school years, it felt familiar and comfortable. As mentioned in my artist statement, while learning to draw again I simultaneously began reading some very inspiring books about the early connections of art, history and science, an intersection that melded so many of ,my personal interests. The rest is discussed elsewhere on this site, but worth stating here is that I am just very thankful to have found this all again and remain incredibly curious and excited about where it will take me.
I still live in Portland, Oregon with my amazing wife Terri, and have two children, Leah, an interior architect in San Diego and Seth, a social worker living here in Portland.