I am a self-taught artist and physical therapist. Although I took the first unconscious steps in my creative life when I became a childhood alley picker, it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I started making art out of things that other people would consider junk after a friend showed me how to make shrines like she was doing with her grade school students. The first shrines were from tangerine boxes and things lying around the house. I liked using things that had outlived their intended purpose and to which I had very little sentimental attachment. I felt like I was creating something new without any rules or responsibilities. The freedom and surprise I felt with each piece I made seemed to bring to light aspects of my life and myself that I had forgotten or been unaware of. In the 10 years or so since I started. a new world of art, artists and creativity has opened up to me. I’ve learned new things from others and from myself. As I continue to create I find I’m always drawn to using what ever I see around me that is wasted and cast aside.
I grew up in a big Catholic family in Detroit. I never felt especially religious but I did associate my church with my home, my neighborhood, my family, and my developing identity. Home, neighborhood, church and family were at the core of how I saw and still see myself . One of the strongest pleasures of my childhood was the time I spent wandering around the alleys of my neighborhood, doing what we called alley picking. I loved finding discarded things and bringing them home to a new life . In my art I use mostly things I’ve found in an alley, on the street, in my own trash, or at a resale shop. I like to think that all broken things can have a new life if given a chance. I am always so happy when something, the uglier the better, that I’ve been looking at in my box of stuff for years finally finds its way into just the right place in a piece.