2017 20” (h) x 18” (w) x 17” (d)
Coil built earthenware with terra sigilatta
2016 (entire grouping) 1” (h) x 8’ (w) x 4’ (h)
Pop Up Pollinator Picnic aims to facilitate a conversation about our food systems and the ecology of pollinators through public picnics. The ceramic plates used for the picnic form a map of the metro area of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. It becomes the basis for a community-sourced map of public gardens and bee hives that are plotted out using the bowls and the cups in the picnic set.
2016 thrown, altered and printed porcelain (each cup) 3” x 3” x 3”
The cups in the picnic set illustrate the flowers of foods that are eaten by humans but that are pollinated by bees. From left to right: green bean, pumpkin, pepper, sunflower, coffee, cashew, broccoli, apple. The illustrations were a collaboration with artist Laura Corcoran.
The picnic set can be biked into any garden or park and will serve up to 48 people. It includes all of the utensils necessary for picnicking: plates, cups, bowls, blankets, napkins, silverware, a washing station, and compost collection, making it a zero waste event. It also includes educational activities related to pollinators and bees for all ages. It is listed as a tool on Springboard for the Art’s ReadyGo! website, where individuals and organizations can contact me to host a picnic. I have provided picnics for Public Art Saint Paul, the City of Minneapolis, Slow Food MN, and more.
Through a MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in 2015, I was able to commission bike builder Peacock Groove to construct an electric-assist tricycle to carry the picnic. The picnic boxes were a collaboration between myself and designer and laser etcher Anthony Kling.
Each of the 6 boxes that contain the picnic set carry 8 plates that fit into the puzzle map. One activity that picnic participants do is to assemble the puzzle and then map out known gardens, parks and pollinator habitats using the cups (gardens) and the bowls (bees).
Please press play twice to view the video*
I interviewed people from 4 families who are immigrants to Minnesota. Abbebech Mimi Girma (Ethiopia), Aisha Rosie Reyes-Cruz (Mexico), Semerit Seankh-Ka (Haiti) and Clayton and Lillian Verlo (Norway) were all asked about a food that brings them comfort and that also maintains some cultural significance in their lives. I made dishes for each of these foods based on their stories. I screen-printed their stories onto the pieces. The sound in the video is an excerpt from a 20 minute piece that compiled participant interviews into a single track. The sound was a collaboration with sound designer Joshua Clausen. The images were taken by photographer Juana Berrio and the artist.
2009 11” (h) x 5.5”(w) x 5.5” (d)
Thrown porcelain teapot and cups and handbuilt earthenware tray. This was a single component of a much larger project chronicling “home cooking” from 3 local immigrant families. I interviewed each family about a food that reminded them of their home, I created a set of dishes for each food, and we all shared a meal together. The story of Ethiopian Coffee came from participant Abebech Girma.
2008 hand-built porcelain (each boat) 7”(h) x 8”(w) x 15”(l)
This image documents a community-based project in which I collaborated with 50 high school students in the Twin Cities to create a series of porcelain boats that were decorated with their stories about living and working in the Mississippi River watershed. The teens met me at Father Hennepin Park where the students told their stories and ceremoniously floated the boats in the local waters of the Mississippi River.
2010 hand-built porcelain (each boat) 7”(h) x 8”(w) x 15”(l)
The teens in collaboration with me paraded their boats around Lake Phalen in celebration of Water Fest, a Saint Paul initiative to bring attention to the waters of the city.
2012 steel, porcelain, sound (hanging sculpture) 5’(h) x 3’(w) x 5’(d)
Please press play twice to view the video
Living Topography topographically represents Lake Superior. The steel frame is a topographic map of the basin. The porcelain boat hulls that hang from the steel frame carry glimpses of people’s lives who lived along the lake: Letters written by a young woman from Ashland in 1863, pages from a diary written by a youn Wisconsin teenager, and navigational charts of the Lake itself. Additionally, there are a series of boats that carry QR codes on their surfaces. Each of these codes lead viewers to Geo locations plotted on Google Earth, as well as a special collection of photographs, audio interviews and more web links of interviews I did while traveling around the lake. The interview in the excerpt is from Sharon Day, Ojibwa elder and water walker.
2013-2015 mixed media (hanging sculpture) 8’(l) x 3.5’(w) x 4’(h)
Please press play twice to view the video
A living River is a compilation of photos and an excerpt from recordings that were taken during a project where I collaborated with students from a high school and middle school in Minneapolis. The students went on a citizen science expedition on the Mississippi River with an organization called Wilderness Inquiry. I created a narrative reflections for them to do after their trip that became the imagery that I printed onto porcelain canoes. Each student received a copy of their canoe.
2015 porcelain, paint, wood, plexi (entire installation) 17’(h) x 24’(w) x 7’(d)
We are Water is an installation that depicts the entirety of the Mississippi River Watershed. The rivers that tributaries that feed into the watershed are marked by small porcelain cups with short excerpts written about the Mississippi River and its’ steam boating history. Viewers were asked to write their own story on a paper template that they then folded into a cup shape. They exchanged their story for a historic story, taking a cup home with them. The community stories became the stories that were printed on the cups for the first iteration of Upstream.
2017 - ongoing mixed media
Please press play twice to view the video.
This is an ongoing project that is building connections and sharing water stories between strangers within the same watershed. It starts with a tradition that most cultures share in some way: drinking tea. Stories about water are collected and shared through conversations around tea.
2018 mixed media (trailer) 5’(w) x 8’(l) x 9’(h)
An augmentation of Upstream, the Traveling Tea Trailer provides a safe and intimate space for sharing tea and stories. It was made possible through an Open Studio Fellowship at Franconia Sculpture Park in 2018. The trailer has visited Lanesboro, Franconia, Spring Grove, and other destinations in MN to provide support to farms and organizations as they attempt to communicate with constituents and neighbors about the water in their area.
2017 porcelain, wood, wrought iron (tea pot) 14”(h) x 9”(l) x 6”(w)
Detail of tea set for Upstream
2015 steel frame, micro filament, porcelain (entire) 10’(t) x 3.5’(w) x 6’(h)
Letters to the Landmark was a project commissioned by the Landmark Center, which was a Federal Building and a Post Office in its past. Commemorating the letters that traveled through the building, I asked the public at the Landmark Center to write a letter describing a memory of an experience in the building. Approximately 75 letters were collected through a series of public events, and those letters were printed onto porcelain letters that hang from a steel map of Saint Paul in the year the the Landmark was constructed.
Detail of the letters
(collaboration with composer Joshua Clausen) 12’(h) x 8’(w) x 2’(d)
Clay, wood, thread, embedded speakers, 34-minute audio loop.
Please press play twice to view the video
We developed the concept for this collaborative work and sketched its initial forms in Summer 2018 during a dual residency at Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN. We took our initial inspiration from agricultural, biological and anthropological cycles using the mediums of ceramic installation and music/soundscape to interpret circular, looping forms which ascend, descend, and begin again. We worked in parallel in our studios from the Summer of 2018 through the winter of 2019, sharing drafts and continuing to develop our interpretation of this broad narrative arc.
The musical movements correspond to clay components. There are 6 separate movements. The 2 minute music selection in the video is an excerpt from movements 3 and 6.