I have been teaching in the arts most of my adult life to elementary through college level students. I love the creative collaboration of education.I began my career teaching in Hawaii where I taught in such programs as Artists in the Schools, the Kaimuki Performing Arts Center, Kauai Performing Arts Center, and the Mid Pacific Institute for the Arts, to name a few. I later found myself teaching design at the college level. It took nearly 7 years at SUNY Oswego for me to discover that my true passion still lies in teaching the younger students. This journey however has made me a stronger teacher and provided me with new tools to bring to the K-12 classroom. I have taught courses in sculptural mask making and decorative arts such as bas-relief projects as well as the fundamentals of art and design. Non-traditional “MacGyver-like” methods of construction are introduced that tap into new areas for the student, and unleashes sculptural abilities in the novice builder. I have pioneered new ways of using masking tape as a craft medium that defies conventional notions of 3-dimensional construction. These methods have been enthusiastically received at the many national and regional workshops I have given. I teach a variety of approaches to art and creative expression that requires the student to examine their environment with new eyes. I also believe that blending interdisciplinary subjects can reveal new concepts to explore, and provides artists with other points of view, and fresh ideas to build connections between their art and the world around them. Pairing history with an art project provides the student with much more to work with while offering a richer look at the history being examined. I have traveled extensively, and lived among other cultures, giving me a unique perspective to bring to the subject of art and creative thinking. I have also experienced art from a variety of angles, from fine art and theatre, to commercial design. I try to instill the knowledge that art communicates and provide the tools to see how. To me, art is an active experience. It is a process, not a product. I think a person can paint all of their lives and still not have an artistic experience. I feel that the arts offer some of the strongest skills our students can possess for their futures: the ability to make unusual connections and to think and communicate creatively.Overall, I am an enthusiastic artist, who enjoys using traditional as well as new approaches, to work and teach with. I enjoy using standard materials such as watercolor and acrylics and am skilled in airbrush, faux painting and screen-printing. I also have experience in puppetry and masks and the use of shadows in storytelling. Technology such as Photoshop and Vectorworks allows me to mix digital photography, sculpted objects and actual-spaces into my rendering. I work in natural media involving rustic arts such as weaving, papermaking and macramé to transform found and environmental materials. I consider myself a "Modern Day Hunter Gatherer". I recently had a solo exhibition of my work that was created entirely of Styrafoam food trays.
Everything I encounter has the potential to be an artistic subject or medium. This philosophy is the core of my work as an artist and teacher.