Fellowships 2018

Honorable Mention

Bright Spots

Finding moments of unexpected discovery delight me. My work explores rules and social norms both in and outside of the gallery that create the unexpected. I use playful materials and colors to make my work approachable, almost childlike. At times, viewers have ‘ah-ha’ moments where they recognize the material or the patterns or the connection between title and work. My goal is to create interactive, experiential moments between viewer and artwork, unmooring emotions to form bright spots or unexpected moments of personal insight.

I am interested in audiences that are older and cannot see details, but can see vibrant colors; audiences that have disabilities who would like to touch artwork, but cannot in traditional pieces; younger audiences that can see and relate to materials that are familiar to them. My work attempts to reach a broad range of viewers, but still elicit intimate bright spots.

While the common materials in most of my pieces are twisting balloons, I continue to use other materials that pair well with the balloons or my concepts. Gold leaf, steel, wood, and lazy Susans are a few of the resources I’ve used. My process usually begins with a concept through observation. In the piece, Hello, I observed a clown at the Latah County Fair making balloon animals. She wore a balloon belt with hundreds of colorful balloons. A child no more than 3 years old came up to her and reached for the balloons on her belt. She moved him away and began making him a balloon sword instead. He cried and ran back to his mother. This observation led to my piece, Hello. When you stand close to it, you are surrounded by soft, cascading yellow balloons. The piece is curved, trying to embrace the viewer and say hello. The balloons can be touched. The rule broken. A bright spot is formed.

As I continue to make art, I am learning to observe more and reflect on the interactions we all experience. Many of my sketches begin from simple moments. In addition to creating concepts, I continue to explore new materials, particularly materials that are suitable for outdoor installations. Creating public art is one of my current interests in responding to dark spots found in social media. I believe art is an agent for change and enlightenment. I hope that I can create more bright spots in Idaho communities.