Except for one year in Vermont, I’ve lived in Western Massachusetts for 34 years after moving there from Martha’s Vineyard in 1983. A single mother now, I have two children and one cat, and we live in a 200-year-old haunted house bordered by two brooks.
Teaching art to middle school aged students at the Brattleboro Area Middle School for 28 years has kept me on my toes (and put the gray in my hair.) It draws on my abilities to be flexible, encouraging and creative. I need to be a creative problem solver, a critical thinker, a team player, a life-long learner, and ever the optimist.
Since high school I have maintained my passion for colonial cemetery art. Growing up next to Boston gave me opportunities to view some of the best examples of early American sculpture in the Granary Burial Ground, King’s Chapel, and Copp’s Hill. Spending many hours in the old graveyards, I taught myself how to make gravestone rubbings and create copper repoussée reliefs from the old slates. I relished doing research about the stones and the people who reside beneath. I’ve served as a trustee for the Association for Gravestone Studies, and currently I serve on the board of Leyden’s oldest cemetery, the Beaver Meadow Cemetery Association. Occasionally I conduct night time tours of the cemetery (BYOF – bring your own flashlight.) I discuss the art, the carvers, and the stories of the people buried beneath the stones.
I continue learning how to work with new media and am currently learning how to carve letters into slate and how to create outdoor mosaic sculptures.
For my town of Leyden, I serve as chair of the Leyden Historical Commission.
With all the work I do, it can be difficult to find the time to make my own art. I frequently take inspiration from my work as a teacher, my travels, from my relationships with the people around me, my artist friends, and of course, my home. When time does not allow, I’ll turn to cooking, or photography, or sewing, or anything else that requires a level of creative thought in order to scratch the “itch.”