I’ve come to describe myself as an artist who is also a reasonably knowledgeable amateur naturalist, one who strongly believes in a collaborative partnership between artists and scientists. I am drawn to explore culturally relevant ecological issues in a manner that is hopefully interesting and accessible, especially to a non-arts audience.
For example, previous bodies of work have explored declining populations of reptiles and amphibians across North America, and the problem of deformed frogs first discovered here in Minnesota. Another body of work posited implausible evolutionary relationships based strictly on visual appearances. (Think a twisted interpretation of Darwin’s Finches.) However, since 2003 I have focused on issues effecting marine ecosystems and the health of the world’s oceans.
Travel is extremely important to my development as an artist. I’ve been on 5 trips to Mexico and Costa Rica, initially to study sea turtle conservation programs but my area of focus became much larger. I am deeply concerned about the effects of industrialized over-fishing, habitat destruction, and their effects on both local and global economies, as well as the proliferation of plastic garbage in the ocean which kills organisms at every level of the food chain.Utilizing discarded materials (i.e my own garbage and that of my friends and neighbors) has been a key element in my process.
I want to raise awareness and stimulate discussion about what we buy, eat, use, and throw away all have long range impacts on the world around us- even if we don’t personally live near the ocean. I want to network with individuals and organizations committed to these goals. I would love to partner with a natural history museum, ecological organization, or even an aquarium. This would be my way of making a contribution to worldwide conservation efforts.