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2010  |  Single-Subject Credential in Visual Art  |  East Bay State University Hayward, CA

2006  |  MFA in Painting and Drawing  |  California College of the Arts San Francisco, CA

2002  |  BFA (Magna cum Laude) in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking  |  University of Michigan School of Art and Design Ann Arbor, MI

2001  |  Kyoto Seika University  |  Research Student (3/01 to 8/01)  |  Kyoto, Japan

Book I’m reading now:

The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin

Book that inspired me in grad school:

Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler

Favorite artist:

Morris Graves, Arthur Dove

Artist I’d most like to meet:

Wangechi Mutu

Best advice received:

My great-aunt Joan Tanner (a prolific visual artist of more than sixty years) once told me during one of our many advice sessions that I needed to become a master-archivist of my own work.  Also a patient archivist who knows the value of what I create even when others do not. She reminded me that I’m the main one to determine if the objects I create are remembered.  She has shown me the value of looking back on my years of growth,  and that I need to be prepared to tell my art history when the opportunity arrives; for it truly will arrive.

Working habits:

For the last fifteen years, I have painted in the evenings after my day job concludes.  Currently, I come home from teaching, rest about an hour, paint for one to two hours, swim for an hour and a half and then return to the studio till I collapse from exhaustion around 10pm  (this is an ideal / high energy day).  My weekends are my precious studio time.  I usually wake up around 8am, watch something silly sci-fi and then get to work for most of the day, while taking many breaks to hang with my husband Shamont. When I’m on a show deadline, I use every spare moment.  I sometimes take a drawing with me to my classroom and sneak in some work time during my prep period.

Unexpected art experience:

In 2008, I returned to college to earn my single subject teaching credential.  One of my courses was an Art Teaching Methods class that helped us explore possible projects we could do with our kids, by giving us time to make the projects ourselves.  My professor, Dr. Engdahl, introduced the framework for a cut paper project and then asked us to create a cut paper piece.  I couldn’t stop working on my piece, and I was engulfed in interest.  Previous to this, I was strictly a straightforward acrylic painter.  After this project, I began a whole new body of work and way of working that I still use today.

Past research/show curated:

Unearthed, Unveiled; Two-Person show with Nicole Dixon in 2014 at Betti Ono Gallery; Oakland, CA.

Slide; Group show of artists in collaboration with short story author Monica Zarazua; Joyce Gordon Gallery; Oakland, CA

Current research/show curating:

A Yet Unnameable Dream, collection of mixed media paintings paired with poems and poetic prose. I’m currently searching for the proper exhibition space for this project.

Queerest (Art) Experience:

I’ve recently become interested in the life and work of fellow gay male artist Morris Graves. At the Seattle Art Museum hangs a stunning self-portrait of his reclined shirtless figure hiding his face from the morning light. The painting is titled Morning. Seeing this piece and reading the curator’s biographical context to Graves’ identity as a gay man resonated powerfully with me. I truly understood that pose… that overwhelmed feeling of facing the day.  Facing a world that sees one as an oddity, a deviant and a potential predator yet in reality being quite vulnerable.

Three Things on your playlist:

Hurricane, Grace Jones - An amazing comeback album, and a great concert tour.

99¢, Santigold - Fun, whacky, uplifting.  Santigold is someone I’d love to be friends with.

All We Need, Raury - This artist is the same age as my students, but incredibly talented and defies categorization (a trait I love).