Let me just say, I have wandered every single inch of this town and the most fun I’ve had with shopping is this Flea Market. It’s a tourist town, but I’m from New York so I don’t want to feel like a tourist shopping around and I also don’t want to barge in on someone else’s culture improperly. I ran into familiar faces who were vendors at the fair and there were all kinds of hidden gems. I walked away with a tiny silver spoon that was a gift from a vendor and a deerskin choker necklace with snake vertebrae.
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So for the rest of the summer, I’ll be living in Taos, New Mexico during my residency at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. I’ve been here about a week and all I can say is that my life has already changed in that short period of time. My health has been bad since past August, which as many of you know has forced me to stop making artwork and exhibiting. Since I arrived, I don’t stop sketching out ideas in my notebook or writing down subjects that interest me about the Spanish and Native cultural influence in the town. I came here with the intention of creating spiritually themed work in performance as well as outdoor sculptures involving papercutting, and I cannot wait to share photos throughout my stay so keep checking back!
So I recently was in a group show with some of my good friends for my last show in Pittsburgh, PA before I head off to grad school at CCA. It was especially important to me since I had my first major exhibition at Unsmoke Art Systems, and here I was again three years later for my last. Unfortunately I ran into a lot of health problems during install so I wasn’t on my top game, but I’m glad to say the work came out exactly as I had hoped. In the end, a total success! I am eternally thankful for friends and family who helped me with this install.
As many of you may have seen, my face and my paper appeared in a commercial for Cadillac for their Dare Greatly campaign, first airing during the Oscars broadcast. I cannot even explain how incredibly honored I feel for being chosen to be a part of this- everyone should take the time to read the stories of each person featured. There are amazing people doing amazing things, even at such a young age.
I am amazed that I was able to feature my art, but am especially excited to be able to stand as a heart transplant representative. Even with all the knowledge we have, transplants are still a rare occurrence and I am one of the oldest survivors for a single organ at this date in time. I want to be open about my work and my personal medical experiences- if you have any questions please feel free to ask me!
Click here to view the special page about me and my work on Cadillac’s Dare Greatly website.
Thank you again to everyone at Cadillac! #DareGreatly
Last year, I was contacted by SF MOMA to do a special, site specific installation to hang inside of the newly renovated Square Offices in downtown San Francisco. At first they wanted to know what I had available in inventory, but I had nothing at that moment left to give. Then, I was told about a special wall they had in mind that had an enormous amount of light and extra high ceilings. Obviously I was in love, so within 5 days I cut something special and was ready to install!
Here is the result- materials are handcut sketch paper and gold ink. That’s it! I was inspired by hanging plants and the landscapes in Oakland, CA in terms of imagery.
Hey, all. So if you know me personally, you know why I make art. But a lot of people out there don’t know my story. Actually, even some people who I consider close friends still don’t really understand what it means when I say that I have a heart transplant. So I’ve added a video page to my website, where I will be posting all major video features that have been done of myself and my work.
I invite you to take a look and watch a few. I have been living with a heart transplant for over 23 years now, and that affects my world in ways that I can’t even begin to explain. A main reason I began making art is because I cannot truly put into words how I feel about it all. If you watch any, feel free to send me any feedback, comments, or questions.
I am very open about my medical experiences and want to educate as many people as possible about what it is like not only to be a transplant patient, but also an artist working with a medical disability.
or paste this link:
So a couple months ago, I strolled into LUXE Creative‘s offices to visit my friend Martin and ask for some lighting advice for an exhibit. I walked out with my advice, plus the possibility of a project to create an immense paper flower wall for a wedding. I had never done one before, nor had I ever made a paper flower, but I thought this would be something fun and different to do.
Now, four months later, I finally finished up! LUXE Creative was doing work for the wedding that was planned by Shari Zatman of Perfectly Planned in Pittsburgh. We were set to install at the Heinz History Center. I began work immediately, and looked at a number of patterns other DIY makers had used. I also trusted my Cricut Explore for a little help too- it’s a cutting machine but it also comes with a number of cutting inspiration patterns. In the end, I created my own flower designs that worked for this particular wall. It is also entirely handcut, which is what sets it apart from anything else you’ll find out there. I’ll post those later this week! Let me just say, Martin, his team, and I put in some intense hours during install day. There were many bumps in the road, but I was extra confident and determined to make this the most beautiful thing in the room, well besides the bride of course!
Here it is, standing at 12 ft high x 20 ft long (original designs called for it to be 16 ft high) and over 100 lbs in weight thanks to the amount of paper. It took four months of cutting every single day, except for one week where I ended up slicing a hole through my finger (ugh).
So that’s that! This year has handed me two huge projects and I am so proud to say that no matter what my health threw at me (after install I wasn’t able to walk for a day because of circulatory problems in my legs), I got the job done! I have to thank everyone who helped me along the way, because one person can never handle anything alone. Thanks to everyone, xoxoxoxoxo
It’s all about the details for me in papercutting. When you’re making work like mine, that’s so repetitive and consists of mostly one, patterned image, you must get detailed in order to give your viewer some surprises. In my latest installation, Vascular Caverns, I created my largest papercut work yet: a largescale installation that formed a cavern comprised entirely of handcut paper. It took the longest, but was one of the shortest installations thanks to a solid month of prep! Once it was up on the wall, I ended up cutting out more and more pieces just to give that extra touch. So, for all you type A personalities and detail oriented creators, I have posted detail photos of the installation! Have fun detail hunting!
On April 24, after 5 months nonstop of papercutting, I opened my biggest show yet called Vascular Caverns at 707 Gallery in Downtown Pittsburgh. The idea was one that I always had with me, so somehow I had to plan out covering a whole entire gallery in entirely handcut paper. I knew I wanted it to be meditative, so I created a cavernous space, and included a smaller, secluded cavern within the gallery that viewers could step inside. It was a huge success and it’s on view for some time. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, come see it! At the end of the exhibit’s time, I will be burning the entire installation during a performance piece- more info to come!
New piece I installed this past week into the Mine Factory for the show “I Just Want the Paper,” curated by Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi. For this piece, I handcut rice paper and added in details with graphite. Normally, I’m adding wax, burning paper, or adding a jumble of processes into the sculpture. But this time it was just me, my knife, and the paper. Relaxing. A relief, actually. It was as though I was challenging myself to get back to papercutting basics.
Even more of a challenge was examining the space and adapting the piece to it. Install week was renamed papercutting week in my book since I had to make an extra 400 cutouts in 48 hours. And this is the final product!