I began formal training as an oil painter with Karl Benjamin at Pomona College in Claremont, California, before moving to New York City where I attended the Art Students League. In 1995 I arrived in San Francisco and found a mentor in Glen Moriwaki, a well-known artist who introduced me to the techniques and theories of the Bay Area Figurative Movement. With a deeper understanding of the human form I found more freedom to work with otherworldly themes and produced several large bodies of work.
It was at this point that I began teaching art and working in community. The bulk of my experience as an arts educator took place in San Francisco, where I was the Director of the Arts Program at the Creative Arts Charter School until 2011. At Creative Arts – as well as at nearby schools Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks and Grattan – I created murals and installations with my students and developed enduring fine arts programs. I have been awarded numerous grants to fund these programs and projects, most notably a California Arts Council Individual Artist grant for 3 year-long collaborative projects including a 15′ windmill installed in San Francisco’s City Hall.
As subjects or inspiration, children have always played a key role in my artistic life- their originality and creative spirit are infectious and working with them is a constant reminder that exploration is necessary for growth in art.