Tag Archives: performance art

Spotlight: Interview with the Atlanta TAR (Therapeutic Artist Residency) participants

by Melissa D. Johnston

A few months ago, Atlanta artist and former Creative Thresholds contributor Julie L. Sims contacted me about an exhibition associated with a residency she’d done the year before in Atlanta called TAR (Therapeutic Artist Residency). The TAR project is new to Atlanta and Julie is one of its inaugural artists. The vision of artist and licensed therapist Orion Crook, TAR aims to create a deeper level of support for its artists by exploring the intersection between art and therapy. Each artist in the program receives monthly 2-hour group and individual therapy sessions. The main focus of the residency is to analyze the artist’s process and how that process parallels other life processes and vice versa.

The residency ends with an artist showcase in two parts. The first exhibition, Parallels: Holding Space, held in May 2017, highlighted the work of the artists of TAR as individuals after their year of intense personal and collective art making and reflection. The second exhibition, Parallels: Unfolding Space, takes place in three parts and begins tonight, July 27, 2017. This second exhibition branches out to bring the audience into an experience of TAR for themselves.

The TAR project is a wonderful experimentation with finding the deep support needed to do art as/in dialogue with ourselves, our fellow artists, and the culture at large. In the interview below, Orion and the artists share some of their experiences in the program. If you happen to be in the Atlanta area, check out one of the Parallels: Unfolding events. All are held at Day & Night Projects, 585 Wells St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30312. “Connect” is today, July 27, 7-10 pm. “Unfold” is August 3, 7-10 pm. “Release” is August 10, 7-10. The exhibition is on view from July 27-August 19, 2017. For more information, go to OrionPsychotherapy.org or contact OrionPsychotherapy@gmail.com.

 

 

Julie L. Sims, “Coherent Superposition” from Parallels: Holding Space show

 

1. As part of TAR, each of you participated in monthly individual and group therapy sessions, designed at least in part to explore the relationship between life, art, and therapy. Did anything surprise you in the exploration of that relationship?

ORION: Just tonight I was saying that I am still kind of in awe that this residency actually exists. I had an idea nearly three years ago, and now as we begin to close out the first year I can’t help but think, “This may have changed these people’s lives.”

XENIA: While an obvious concept to me now, it was surprising when I first started realizing that the way I dealt with my art mirrored the way I dealt with life and myself in general. Parallel structures started showing up, which brought forth a more integrative experience of life and art. It became clear that my art was accessing that relationship, using art processing to digest life’s processing.

JULIE: I wouldn’t say this was surprising to me, exactly, but I did realize how alike the mental tools of therapy and the mental tools of being an artist are. I guess there are some artists out there who are completely confident and never doubt their work or have to turn off that nagging critical voice, but most of the ones I know and even the famous ones I’ve heard speak describe their own struggles with doubt over whether their work is any good or not, even if they aren’t people who otherwise have problems with self-doubt in the rest of their lives.

You figure out how to work around that if you want to keep making art, and the most successful ways of doing so have a lot in common with therapeutic techniques designed to defeat negative self-talk and break destructive thought patterns. Therapy teaches you to be kinder to yourself, and you will need to be in order to have the resilience for rejection that is just part of being an artist.

2. Do you believe that empathy is part of the artistic process in general? In your own art? Has your understanding of empathy and its relationship to art changed after your experience with TAR?

ORION: Empathy is part of the human experience. I imagine that it comes across in multiple ways for the artist, but in particular when the artist imagines themselves as the viewer they are digging into how (they perceive) the other feels. This is influenced by what they bring focus to, and highlights their own cognitive structures. Does the artist believe the viewer or peer to be critical, supportive, emotional, aesthetic, and so on? How does this influence their art making process? My hope is that the residents were able to become more aware of their cognitive structures and how they influence their own empathetic viewing. Empathy is a skill that can be honed in on and developed as much as it can be skewed by the mind’s telling of a story. What I find important is that, as the artist becomes aware of their cognitive distortions, they are granted access to more authentic empathy underneath which enhances their relational experience.

XENIA: I think for the longest time I fought empathy in myself, and art process is in a way being in dialogue with yourself. I can’t speak to empathy being present in every artist’s process, but for me it became an element I’ve had to embrace in order to progress in my art. Coming into the residency, my expectations of my work and myself were so rigid, I was being hindered and limited in so many realms. Through the group process of TAR, empathy made its way into my personal work and approach to art, which eventually started opening more creative possibilities.

JULIE: I do believe that empathy is part of creating and understanding art. In general, I think art is a way to give expression to something an artist feels inside themselves, so when a viewer connects with a work of art they are experiencing a kind of empathy to the artist’s intent. Sometimes art takes that even further and is made with a voice expressly meant to foster empathy for specific causes, conditions, or groups of people. In my own series, Uncharted Territory: Anatomy of a Natural Disaster, I reference how we respond to people who have experienced a natural disaster as a parallel for how we should respond to people with mental health issues, and that work is in part intended as a pathway toward empathy for conditions that are often misunderstood or mischaracterized.

STEVE: If empathy is a kind of communication or understanding that is felt, rather than thought, then artists excel at empathy. Artworks can operate both in a realm of language and in the ineffable—and this precognitive space is also where empathy occurs.

Empathy’s flip side is judgement. In a group therapy situation, you learn to stop judging your neighbor, and to listen and allow yourself to experience what that person is saying.

 

Xenia Simos’s work from the Parallels: Holding Space Show

 

3. The first TAR exhibition, Parallels: Holding Space, showcased your work as individuals after a year of personal and collaborative art-making and reflection. The second exhibition, Parallels: Unfolding Space, is a collaboration not just with each other, but also with the people attending the show. Your experience with TAR seems to be an ever-expanding circle touching people well beyond the work of an individual artist. What do you hope to accomplish in that connection?

ORION: We are letting people inside TAR, and I hope to establish a lighthouse for the art culture in Atlanta that stands for supporting our artists on a deeper level. The whole year is an extremely intimate experience; therapy comes with a lot of confidentiality. This second show is an expression of what it was like inside TAR. I mean that for better and worse, with expansion and vulnerability. We worked to unfold an experience of art that exists inside a particular container. This residency was contained with therapeutic intent, and this is being brought to the three nights, Connect-Unfold-Release. In the first night, the viewer gets to experience layers of the residency that help them connect with themselves.

XENIA: I think part of the intention of TAR was to build a creative community that saw value in and benefited from the interdisciplinary exploration of art and therapy. Going through the residency magnified the communal aspect, and made clearer that TAR sought to establish a new art culture. Connecting with other artists, viewers and anyone in the community that has an interest, is the residency’s way of doing just that.

JULIE: I am always wanting to normalize conversation about mental health. Between uneven insurance coverage for treatment and societal stigma, many people can’t afford or will never seek out a therapeutic relationship, which is a shame, because it’s something I think nearly everyone could benefit from. This exhibition is an opportunity to share some of that experience, to show how it intersects with other aspects of life, and perhaps overturn assumptions about what therapy can be.

4. “Space”—understood both metaphorically and literally—plays a large role in the description of the TAR program and even appears in the title of both exhibitions. After your year together, how do you understand “space” in relation to the artistic and therapeutic process? Does it play a role in your own individual art?

ORION: Therapy is an art form in the practice and performance of the science of psychology. I see myself as a space holder when I step into the therapeutic relationship. It it my job to curate a space that allows for unconditional positive regard, vulnerability, safety, risk taking, confrontation, and in the end a therapeutic intent. Therapeutic intent is a large concept, but it means in this moment for me that after we process and go deep we gather awareness of what is in front of us and make a choice to move forward, towards the growth work, towards connecting, and often doing what is hard but supports us to be the self we want to be in the future.

XENIA: Space is my medium; and everything I do revolves around the visceral experience of it. Expressing mental spaces into physical ones through metaphor is what I was developing before TAR, even if it was not as clear to me then. After a year in the residency my relationship with space has only deepened more. I now understand it as something necessary to any process. Whether it is artistic or therapeutic in nature, space is what gives room for that process to unfold. It is something fluid that shifts to the process’s needs, and experienced on multiple levels. Throughout this year, I have learned to expand and retract myself accordingly, adjusting to my life and my creative process.

JULIE: When you “hold space” for someone you are allowing them to be just as they are without judgment or trying to change their feelings. You’re giving them room to express their truth. Artists have to remember to hold space for themselves. If you judge every thought and impulse as they arrive, if you try and change what you’re doing to something you think you should do instead of what is true to yourself, you’re not holding space for your work to develop.

Our first exhibition, Holding Space, let each of us be as we are and express our own truths. In Unfolding Space we are opening up a new dimension and creating a wholly new space collaboratively, and we’re inviting other people to let us hold that space for them to step into.

STEVE: When Sun Ra sings “space is the place,” he’s equating Outer Space with the freedom to become what you will be, where imagination is the force that creates the world.

One of Google’s definitions of space is “a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied.” This can mean allowing physical and mental space for your collaborator to do their thing—to trust that your colleague is going to make a contribution that is amazing and unexpected.

Another definition is “the dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move.” In this sense, I see the art gallery as that container, and I am covering the gallery walls with burlap as a way to contain, focus, and amplify the energy of what we do in there.

 

Steven L. Anderson’s work from Parallels: Holding Space show

 

5. The sacred or language associated with the sacred plays a role in the discourse about TAR’s projects. The visitors to the second series of exhibitions (Parallels: Unfolding Space) will participate in shared rituals designed by the artists, ultimately aimed toward the process of healing. The last show ends with the artist as “sacred practitioner” inviting people to join her in washing away their troubles in a tank of salt water with the intention to begin anew. Do the processes of art-making and/or therapy contain aspects of the divine (however understood) for you? If so, what do you see as the connection?

ORION: This is a great question and one that brings a beautiful tension between the anchor of this series and our perspectives. I come from a poly truth perspective that finds comfort in having a practice that does have a relationship with the creation force. Due to a frontal cortex, I as a human have the ability to believe that the divine doesn’t exist, that it doesn’t matter whether I believe it or not because I can never “truly know,” that it does exist, and that believing has its own affect whether it exists or not. I can hold all of these as truths and still exist, I actually believe it’s how the brain works on its own. We often find ourselves going between things, back and forth questioning our assumptions. The brain struggles to hold onto one side of such a large topic and just stay settled there. When I come from a perspective that makes space for all of the viewpoints around the divine, I get a sense of freedom that deals less with having to choose, and allows me to focus more on how I want to live and act. For me, whether the divine as you name it exists or not, I enjoy practicing from a perspective that is in relationship to a possibility that I can influence change, that my will is worth casting in intentional directions, and that art is a medium for materializing this process.

JULIE: For me art is sacred in the sense that it is the soul of who I am. I experience art-making as a force of creation, which some people associate with divinity, although I do not. I see it as tapping into the systems that drive the universe… creation, evolution, destruction.  Performance art has a very blurry line with ritual, so conflating the two feels very natural. I think rituals have value separate from religious intent—the daily routine performed exactly the same every day is a type of ritual that offers control and continuity in a world that often lacks either. So, I would not say that either sacredness or ritual are divine.

This specific performance will mark a year since my breast cancer diagnosis, and is a performance-art-ritual with the ultimate intent of “letting go.” As such, it sits directly at the intersection of art and therapy, because it is using art as a vehicle to process and release a life experience.

STEVE: More than the words sacred and divine, I’m interested in the concepts like spirit and energy. We encounter these when out in the forest, in the desert, or in the ocean; or when we meditate, or make art, or do drugs. Any situation where we experience flow is when we’re connecting to the energies that are all around us and within us.

The processes that we’re exploring and introducing to our audiences—connecting, unfolding, releasing—are ways of breaking through barriers in our selves. When we can bring down these walls, we find ourselves closer to that spirit that we so rarely glimpse.

XENIA: I do not feel connection with the language of sacred or divinity as much as I do with the concept of being in touch with oneself. I experience this while making art. I believe at times, through our process we can experience moments of calm, and a sense of faith in ourselves and in the work. Those moments could be described as divine; but in no way do I see the artist as sacred or divine. I am simply tapping into something that already exists. As far as ritual, while it often is associated with religion, our intention came from a more meditative approach. The repetition of a task while holding a certain idea in place, the overlay of a movement solidifying it; over and over and over. This is seen in performance often and I think ritual can exist within that realm.

 

The TAR group, working hard on their new performance and installation-based show Parallels: Unfolding-“Connect.” From left: Xenia Simos, Steven L. Anderson, Julie L. Sims, Orion Crook

 

Julie L. Sims lives in the Atlanta area and graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University. Her work has been exhibited nationally and locally, and has been written about in Creative Loafing, ArtsATL.com, and in publications including Possible Futures’ Noplaceness: Art in a Post-Urban Landscape. She is a 2016–15 TAR Project resident, and was a 2014 WonderRoot CSA artist, a 2013–14 Walthall Fellow, was selected by the New York Times to attend the New York Portfolio Review (2013), and was nominated for the Forward Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award (2012). See more at lensideout.com.

Steven L. Anderson is a founding member of Day & Night Projects, an artist-run gallery in Atlanta. Anderson has been a Studio Artist at Atlanta Contemporary (2013–16), a 2015 Hambidge Center Distinguished Fellow, and a 2014–15 Walthall Artist Fellow. Anderson’s notebooks are in the permanent collection of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. He has exhibited in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami, and Chicago. More information at  www.StevenLAnderson.com.

Xenia Simos is an installation artist with a background in sculpture and design. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor of fine arts in interior design, her work explores space and our relationship to it. Through a conceptual and process-based approach, Simos translates the human experience into a spatial composition, manifesting mental structures into physical ones. Her works are often site-specific, and interdisciplinary in medium.

Orion Crook, LPC and TAR:
In the West End of Atlanta, Orion Psychotherapy’s studio office holds space for adolescents and adults who are seeking to engage in a therapeutic-relationship-ritual with a Licensed Professional Counselor. Grounded in his Humanistic foundation from the University of West Georgia, he often encounters the lived struggles of trauma, gender, sexuality, and loss with compassion, an ear for metaphors, and an interest in Expressive Therapies. At the intersection where art meets therapy Orion founded and runs the Therapeutic Artists Residency. orionpsychotherapy.org

 

 

Triptych Collective presents “Traces” at the Neighborhood Theatre

The Triptych Collective is a group of performance artists interested in bringing a unique blend of live music, dance performance and visual art to non-traditional spaces in order to make thought-provoking and socially-engaged performance art more widely accessible.

“Traces” is a compilation of Triptych Collective works-in-progress for the Fall 2014 season. The show features work by Collective artists Reba Bowens, Sarah Ingel, Caitlyn Swett, and Eric Mullis and also features Hectorina’s performance musical “Collywobble.”  “Traces” was performed Thursday, November 20, 2014, at Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte, NC.  Each of the artists writes about her or his piece below.

www.triptychcollective.com

www.facebook.com/triptychcollective

Twitter: @triptychcollect

“Traces,” from the November 20, 2014 show:

 

The Artists: 

Sarah Ingel

Must make much much much more more more effort

Observing popular culture trends surrounding reality television and celebrity culture, society has developed an overwhelming need to build people up only to see them fall. With accessibility to the details of peoples lives at an all time high, our need to know more has become a staple of our society. Gossip, positive or negative, feeds our desire to become part of the world of the notable and notorious. But when our feelings of curiosity outweigh our feelings of empathy, an act of dehumanization occurs. We all exist with an internal world and an external world, but what happens when these worlds overlap? Must make much much much more more more explores the effects of our consumer culture, the need to know, provide, and iconize information about our internal worlds, and the consequences these cravings have on the individuals of our affections. When does private become public? When does this conflict of worlds turn a person into a battleground of confusion, depression, ego, and alter ego? How does our desire encounter our embarrassment of our desires and result in a revelation of who we truly are? These queries, and much much much more more more, have fueled the movement scores and improvisational structures that make up a piece dedicated to depicting our struggle with the division and intersection between our own public and private selves. “Do you wanna see me be her?” –Marilyn Monroe

 

Caitlyn Swett

[untitled]

I have been very lucky to experience a variety of different creative processes, ways of creating dance, and working with many different themes and conceptual content. Even in my own work, I have felt that each creative process has been significantly different from the last. Perhaps it is the collaborative nature of Triptych Collective’s work that produces a diverse repertory, thus presenting many different experiences through dance. This season, instead of being able to say “this piece is about (insert concept here),” the ideas I have been working with, both conceptually and aesthetically, have developed and unfolded into something different and unexpected. Though the movement was generated around ideas of silence and conversation, through this process I have given myself the permission to create a work in which the movement is enjoyable to perform, view, and experience. My collaborators and I have had many conversations about the way that we connect to the piece and with each other when performing. I am interested what connections an audience makes, how this may differ from the connections we are making, and how an audience digests and responds to a work without the lens of a concrete idea or story that a choreographer may place upon them. I am interested in how I can create a thoughtful piece that evokes conversation and asks questions without having a piece be “about” a single thing. Further, I am interested in the responses, conversations, and possibilities that can come from a “lens-less” way of viewing dance.

Triptych photo 1

Reba Bowens

Finding My Voice

After writing a short blog about my development in capoeira, a Brazilian martial art created by slaves combining music, dance, acrobatics and other aspects of Brazilian culture, I began to think about my relationship or my connection to creating movement. I was questioning what movement means to me and understanding how my movement vocabulary has changed since being more immersed in capoeira. Is my desire to create movement something of a spiritual or therapeutic release for me? This question has and I think will continue to plague me not only as a dancer but as a capoeirista, capoeira practitioner. The first draft of this piece will be shown on November 20th at the Neighborhood Theatre along with other work presented by members of the Triptych Collective, XOXO Ensemble, Sinergismo, and Hectorina’s “Collywobble.” This piece is a personal reflection that will be continued to possibly include at least one or two dancers, and a live or recorded reading of excerpts from journals of my thoughts and feeling in understanding my movement.

Eric Mullis

Later Rain

Triptych photo 2

This work is my second collaboration with XOXO Theater director Matt Cosper.  Matt and I collaborated on Animus in the spring of 2014 and decided to start a new project in the summer. We reflected on our own experiences with ecstatic religion and began to research the history of the Pentecostal Holiness movement in America.  We are interested by the fact that ekstasis can be found in religions around the world and in popular culture as well (festivals, holidays, etc.) and want to explore how losing control of the body and self is understood in different social contexts.  For example, it is interesting that the Holiness movement sees being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues as signs of divine presence whereas other mainstream Christian denominations are wary about those beliefs and experiences.  This is just one example of howekstasis is interpreted in different ways by different people in different cultural traditions.  We are hoping that Later Rain will encourage audiences to consider the relationship between ekstasis and broader social values.

triptych photo 3

How is choir

by James Sanders

For the past several years, I’ve been increasingly drawn to “situated poetry”– poems designed to be performed or composed for specific sites or occasions (though by no means restricted to those sites or occasions). Jackson Mac Low’s Pronouns and performance scores, David Antin’s and Steve Benson’s improvisatory pieces, Gertrude Stein’s operas and plays, and the art of Alexander Calder and Robert Smithson are just some examples of work that has pushed me in this direction.  “How is choir” is a poem written for a large multi-media piece called “Island Boy Live” designed and produced by filmmaker Anna Winter and composer-performer Luke Leavitt – both based in Denver. Hovering between music video, sound art installation, and experimental film, “Island Boy Live” pursues connections between Denver’s local dance subcultures and the landscapes – natural, social, and economic – that incubate them. “Island Boy Live” began as a song by Leavitt, which I then used to create the poem here. Performances of the poem were recorded and then mixed into the song, and accompanying video was created.  A dual channel video for “Island Boy Live” can be found here: http://www.swigview.com/Y14mswC.

That video served as a basis for a live performance at Monkey Town in Denver (http://www.monkeytown4.com/) earlier this year. The performance consisted of Leavitt playing the “Island Boy” song live with his keytar, with “How is choir” taped on the ground around him and used for some vocal improvisations, all backgrounded by the video. Leavitt also had four bottles of red-dyed soy sauce, wielding them as a weapon of sorts– a playful splash on the ‘high-dining’ atmosphere of the Monkey Town events (which are curated by professional chefs). A few bottles– and a diner’s carafe– were accidentally smashed in performance. Some diners complained that the smell of the sauce ruined the food, others claimed it enticed their appetites!  Some scattered shots of the performance can be found here: https://vine.co/v/MJ90mqwWzOp and  http://instagram.com/p/m1QeJjw2Kn/.

James Sanders-How is choir_Page_1

 

James Sanders-How is choir_Page_2

 

James Sanders-How is choir_Page_3

 

James Sanders-How is choir_Page_4

 

James Sanders-How is choir_Page_5

 

 

James SandersJames Sanders is a member of the Atlanta Poets Group, a writing and performing collective. His most recent book is Goodbye Public and Private (BlazeVox). His book, Self-Portrait in Plants, is forthcoming in 2015 from Coconut Books. The University of New Orleans Press also recently published the group’s An Atlanta Poets Group Anthology: The Lattice Inside.

See:

atlantapoetsgroup.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/atlantapoetsgroup

Twitter: @ATLPoetsGroup.

 

Ophelos by TAPROOT

The goal of Creative Thresholds has always been to explore different genres and art forms, particularly those that trouble and work those boundaries. Until now the focus has been on writing and visual art. It’s time to expand and what better way than by sharing an excerpt from the collaborative performance ensemble TAPROOT‘s original production Ophelos?

photo by Reuben Bloom

photo by Reuben Bloom

A young woman struggles against a destructive cycle of violence to save the man she loves from succumbing to a culture of vengeance. Enter the  violent, sensual, immersive theatrical experience of Ophelos

Ophelos 1 Reuben Bloom

photo by Reuben Bloom

 

Ophelos is an original performance piece told through movement, masques, music and shadow. It is designed to give the audience a performance experience which breaks down the fourth wall, with action taking place throughout the space. Based on the Scandinavian folk tale of Amleth with text from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelos transcends time using Shakespearean language, 1930s inspired costuming, original music, modern dance techniques and a unique understanding of multidisciplinary performance.

 

Ophelos is being performed throughout April 2014 in the Charlotte, NC area.

Tickets – Sliding Scale $15 – $25

Kadi Fit – 19725 Oak St #6, Cornelius, NC 28031

Purchase tickets here
 
Upstage – 3306 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205
 
Purchase tickets here

photo by Reuben Bloom

photo by Reuben Bloom

TAPROOT is a collaborative performance ensemble working to build community and create innovative cross-disciplinary performance experiences through artistic collaboration that speaks truth and challenges audiences. All of TAPROOT’s original and collaborative works have worked to engage the greater Charlotte community by inviting public participation in feedback sessions throughout the development of each piece. TAPROOT also regularly offers free or low-cost programming that encourages artists to expand their techniques, ideas and peer communities. Learn more at TAPROOT’s website or Facebook page.

Works by Jason Sweet

"From Home"     32" x 32" x 5"     Welded steel, enamel paint, patina

“From Home”
32″ x 32″ x 5″
Welded steel, enamel paint, patina

"Comp 3 & 4"      32" x 32" x 2"      Welded Steel, enamel paint, patina

“Comp 3 & 4”
32″ x 32″ x 2″
Welded Steel, enamel paint, patina

"Organic Produce"      18" x 24"      Pencil drawing and Georgia clay

“Organic Produce”
18″ x 24″
Pencil drawing and Georgia clay

"Cast Under"       60" x 38" x 12"       Welded Steel, enamel paint, patina

“Cast Under”
60″ x 38″ x 12″
Welded Steel, enamel paint, patina

"John Woolman's Gift"       Mixed media installation

“John Woolman’s Gift”
Mixed media installation

"No Puede Hacer Anoche"        Performance art piece

“No Puede Hacer Anoche”
Performance art piece

"Architectural and Environmental Symposium"      Public Art Commission monumental scale       Commercial Bronze

“Architectural and Environmental Symposium”
Public Art Commission monumental scale
Commercial Bronze

 

“Sigoa!” at 2009 annual international performance art series at Vertigo.

ARTIST STATEMENT

 Aspects of art I create is a genuine reflection of my interest in conceptual and/or formal notions in art making. By using conceptual matter and formal matter as a vehicle, my body of work attempts to balance contrasting elements be it through materials, design and/or subject matter.

   BIO

Jason Sweet Jason Sweet is a sculptor, painter, drawer, performance and installation artist.  He has exhibited his work internationally and has been awarded a number of public art commissions.  Sweet is Assistant Professor of Art and serves as Department Chair of Fine Arts at Atlanta Metropolitan State College.  He received his Master of Fine Art Degree in Sculpture from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign where he studied under renowned glass artist William Carlson and artist/critic Buzz Spector.  For his Bachelor of Arts he attended the University of Northern Iowa studying under the direction of sculptor Tom Stancliffe.  In 2001 he moved to Atlanta of which he currently resides.

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