LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
United States of America
DATE OF BIRTH
My journey through life has not been straightforward or easy, but the challenges I have encountered and overcame has made me who I am today. Born in California, in 1974, right as the War in Vietnam was coming to a close, I was the product of creatives and dreamers. My father was from a hard-working farming lineage who would always hard to be creative to find ways to make ends meet; my mother the daughter of a Weapons Physicist and a Cellist with roots so deep in American history that they start with the Mayflower Compact, and weave their patriotic threads throughout American history. The late ‘70s and early ‘80s were not an easy childhood, losing an infant brother, the recession, divorce, remarriages, poverty, a housefire, new half siblings, new step siblings, poor grades, the only thing that kept me grounded was finding ways to serve my community. First in Scouting, then Civil Air Patrol doing Search & Rescue, eventually I found my way to the Army recruiting office. 17 years old, failing out of high school, looking at a life of poverty and suffering, the Army offered me a $2,000 enlistment bonus, and an opportunity to finish high school and step out of my previous life. As instable as the military life is, with deployments and training, it gave me enough stability that my wife and I were able to raise two wonderful sons, and able to retire with more than a few pennies in the pocket. Throughout my 24-year career in the Army, working in combat skills, human resources, and logistics, I had to learn creative techniques to not only survive in the field, but also to take care of my Soldiers, often with few resources and funding. My military service gave me a wide lens to observe all walks of life, to see some of the best and worst in what humanity and the world has to offer. Military experience has shaped my beliefs in the transient presence, and the necessity to create in a world filled with destruction. During my career the seeds of my artistic practice were planted, despite barracks cleanliness requirement, I would curate my space, hanging objects and mementos like a Baroque room, I would design t-shirts and coins for the troops, and I would photograph my experiences. This need to collect and curate often caused conflict with my supervisors and spouse, yet now I use this to feed my artistic practice.
My first steps towards becoming an artist began in 2010 after returning from Iraq. I picked up my first DSLR camera, began to capture the world around me through photography, and began to explore creative photography. After being accepted into several salons, I realized that I had the potential to do more. After I retired from the Army, I enrolled at Western Oregon University, and by the end of my first year I had declared Art as my major. Graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2019 with Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a sculpture and printmaking focus. Currently I am pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts at Studio Arts College International in Florence, Italy. Since 2011, I have shown art across many mediums both locally and internationally, in over 20 salons, and over 20 art exhibitions. After completing my studies my goal is to teach art at the college or university level while expanding my studio practices. Eventually I wish to create a non-profit gallery and studio designed to support Veterans in the Arts in the Mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon.
WHO I AM
Intermedia Artist with a focus on Memory, US Army Veteran
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