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TOO: An Orientation of Spirit represents my two and a half years creative journey of thoughts and emotions in response to racism in America. The heart of this exhibition is TOO, meaning ALSO.  It is the absent but implied word at the end of the statement Black Lives Matter and is the artistic lens woven throughout the work. Empathy resides within this small word. TOO is the essence of our humanity and the “super power” that enables an orientation of spirit to occur; where empathy is found, racism dissolves.

 My orientation of spirit started in 1979, in a small town in South Georgia where I began my teaching career.  At least thirty percent of my class that year, and for the next three decades, were African American children. Prior to teaching, I had no contact with people of color: I grew up in a small town in Minnesota where everyone was white.  My first experience meeting African Americans occurred when I was a teenager when in 1971 my family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where I attended an integrated public school for three years.  Even with that experience, my knowledge and understanding of African American life were non-existent until 1979 when I began teaching second grade in Tifton, Georgia. There I witnessed firsthand how racism and generational poverty impacted my African American boys and girls in my classroom.

 This awareness of racial injustice became more than an observation of fact when each year for thirty years, the children in my classroom transitioned from being my students and became my boys and girls.  Each day I taught them, but I also learned about them, and this knowledge led to understanding, which led to compassion, resulting in empathy. TOO: An Orientation of Spirit honors my former students and communicates my desire to take on their struggle as my own. My hope is that those who view this exhibit will experience the same understanding and compassion that moved me to create it.


After college, Tennessee State University, Nashville, I moved to Miami, got a job, and left my desire to paint behind me. Several years later I moved to Macon Georgia. I suppose I felt a since of peace in my new surroundings, because my desire to paint returned, almost unnoticed. One afternoon, I gathered my arsenal of painting supplies and put my first strokes onto the canvas. Soon I realized that I had lost my ability to paint. I was devastated. I remember praying and asking God to restore my ability to paint, stating that I would continue to use my gift once it was restored. The Beginning of my Art Journey: My journey into art began long before I realized it as my passion. All I knew, at that time, was that I enjoyed painting. Over the years I have experimented with several different mediums, oils, pastels, and charcoals. I finally landed on acrylic paints, enjoying the ease of covering a canvas with minimum drying time. I credit Victoria Fox Art Gallery, Lithonia, GA. for embracing me and my art. They mentored me, introducing me to the business of art. There is quite a bit of history between then and now. Moments of sorrow that are not directly related to my quest for the “well known artist status.” Yet, those moments helped to ground me and establish my priorities as an artist. Through the years I have participated in art festivals from Atlanta, GA to Mystic CT. I have had the honor of exhibiting my work in the following locations: National Black Fine Art Show, SoHo, NY; Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA; Harriet Tubman Museum, Macon, GA; Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL; the set of the television show “In the Heat of The Night”, The Southern Bell Building, Atlanta, GA; and Union Station, Washington, D.C. In April, 2019 my work will be included in the Tom Joyner Foundation Cruise Fundraiser for African American Students.

Art That Touches the Soul, are the words that I use to describe my art. It is my desire that each work of art, that I create embodies a small portion of me, my emotions, dreams and the essence of who I am at the moment that the item is created. I am often asked, “How long did it take you to create that painting?” I have come to realize that the correct answer is, “My entire life.” Each creation is the result of experiences, emotional shifts, increased knowledge and life’s ups and downs. I create art because the creation process invigorates me and it allows me to escape into a world of what ifs, often called The Zone. When I am in the zone, that’s the place where I am not aware of my surroundings, dirty dishes in the sink, unpaid bills or other worldly concerns, i hear the gentle voice saying use red here, mix in a little orange. Sometimes the voice does not make sense, but I have found that when I listen, it is always right. I want people to react with joy and a sense of sagacity when they see my work. There are specific events that occurred in my life that caused a shift in my style of painting. Several years ago, a fellow artist, Frank Fraiser, suggested that I add more movement to the garments that clothed the bodies of my images. I accepted the challenge and began to imagine the wind blowing on the elaborately decorated fabrics worn by the dancers in my paintings and sculptures. I believe that “this movement” causes my images to come alive.

My body of work includes the creation of acrylic paintings, soft and hard sculptured figures, one of a kind polymer clay beads/ jewelry and journal making.