Artist Statement and Bio

sportland
Deb, age 3, at Sportland YMCA, a block from her childhood home.

Artist Statement

I’m a rabid collector—of techniques, papers, tiny objects, clothing, and cast offs.  My work often begins with an interesting scrap that suggests a specific narrative, or an idea searching for the right materials to manifest itself.   (I used flattened dry frogs, found along the streets of my Hawaiian neighborhood, to tell the story of my divorce!) 

I’m a mixed media maker and jack of all trades.   As a high school art teacher for 30 years, I developed diverse skills making it easy to jump from one media to another. I often use collage to brainstorm and sketch. Currently I’m creating assemblage wood sculptures, paintings, and prints that contemplate contemporary domestic and mental interiors.

I love turning others on to creative work in a world where most folks feel like they don’t have the skills to make art and where contemporary art feels like a foreign language.  Teaching continues to provide great freedom in designing and constructing lessons while sharing my passion.   Now retired from full time teaching, I find joy in teaching older adults the joy of “making” while developing my own studio practice.

 

I’m a Denver native. Childhood was complicated growing up in the only white (and Jewish!) family living in an all Black neighborhood–art helped make sense of it.  My dad, a major artistic influence, made odd sculptures and home decor while ruling a roost of five women. My four sisters form the foundational rock at the base of my life.  As an adult, I’ve lived in culturally diverse destinations (California, rural Alabama, Miami, Western North Carolina, New Orleans, and Hawaii) that have impacted my art and life.  I returned to Denver at age 50, heading the Visual Arts Department at Denver School of the Arts for fifteen years.   Now retired from a 35-year teaching career, I focus on my own art and teach adults at the Art Students League of Denver.

 Teaching art has been the ideal career for me, with freedom to design and construct curriculum and share my passion.  Every class and student is different offering new creative and expressive experiences.  Helping folks enter the world of art, explore various media, and find a personal voice is fulfilling work.

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