Disappearing Girl

Images of works in progress. Final work will be uploaded when completed.

In today’s fast paced society, anxiety and depression affects not only adults, but even our teens and children.  With this project my aim is to break down stereo-types and myths around teen girls and mental health, to create understanding, support and help for those who suffer from these illnesses. It is my hope that through this series of artworks I will give insight into the inner feelings of those struggling with mental health and to bring attention to the mental health crisis of our teen girls. This time of social isolation due to COVID-19, provides a unique opportunity for understanding those emotions. Additional the trauma experience of the pandemic is likely to create the need for therapy for many and so our need to understand mental health and ways to seek help is even more important now.

 In 1997 I spent a year living in Argentina. While there I painted nearly every day, exploring color theory in abstract and realistic paintings. More recently I have enjoy reading The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee and thinking about the ways things such as color and shape affect our mood because it relates so well to the ways I have described my whimsical glass sculptures. In these 2-D multi-media works I have been turning the aesthetics of joy around to use colors and shapes that evoke fear, anxiety, and sadness in the paintings to help the viewer understand the inner emotions of those struggling with mental health issues.

The completed project will be comprised of ten multi-media canvases, several free standing sculptures focusing on teen identity issues, fused glass panels and a a large multi piece blown glass sculpture around the theme of hope and recovery.   It is imperative that we find ways for our environment to provide an escape from daily pressures to allow our minds to focus and recharge.  Art is a powerful tool that can change our outlook, give strength or help us heal.  Healing Arts Projects in hospitals are used as a way to improve the mental outlook of patience, in turn helping them through their recovery. Additionally art is a way to share a message with the general public in a way that can help create understanding and support.  

Thanks to the McKnight Foundation and Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council for the grant support to fund the research, supplies and preparation for this project

Botanical Fantasies

Botanical fantasies, my newest series of sculptures, captures the warmth and joy of summer year round.  This past winter, following a number of below zero days, I began searching for images of tropical flowers as an escape from the dull colors and cold.  The variety of shapes and colors inspired me to create fanciful flowers out of glass.  Botanical fantasies are flowers completely out of this world, taking us into an imaginary place full of giant flowers and full of color and joy.  Additionally a glass bees’ nest will hang on a branch extending out from the wall.  The pieces will all work together to create a feeling of a wondrous garden that opens our imagination and takes us back to our childhood. This piece also focuses specifically on symbiotic relationships…ours with the bees, the bees with the flowers and ours with the flowers…we all need one another for survival. Surrounding ourselves with things that elicit joy is important for our mental health. In a rushed, hectic world, adding joy in our environment can help us maintain a balance.  Through my work, I want to inspire others to find that momentary relief in joy or that longer lasting peace and calmness that I find in creating it.  In life and in my work, one can reflect the difficulties we face letting it determine our path or like light refracting through glass, we can change the direction and give back something beautiful.

Thanks to the McKnight Foundation and Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council for the grant support to fund the research, supplies and preparation for this project


There are many levels of meaning that I reflected on while creating the numerous blown and flame worked glass pieces for Splash!  The raindrops themselves are each unique to represent the beauty of diversity and individuality in all of us. The installation itself also reflects this as the work changes with each gallery space/exhibit. Additionally there is the fact of the global importance of water. When water is plentiful, we can rejoice and bask in the joy it brings, yet when water becomes scarce, it is all about survival and we are left with many needs and no good way to decide what ones are most important.  Rain can also be a metaphor for life.  Life brings with it both joy and difficulty, yet we can choose how we see the storm. Rather than seek shelter from the rain, one can find joy in the splashes or rainbows.  And lastly, Splash! has a meditative, calming impact when we look at it as a whole or focus in on the details.  I see Splash! as an oasis from the business of life, where one can come to be rejuvenated.

1st Place at the Woman Made Gallery MidWest Open Exhibition – Splash!
A special thank you to the McKinght Foundation and Prairie Lakes Arts Council for providing funding for this project


Most of my glass artwork is whimsical, capturing my enthusiasm for life and a playfulness inspired from my years of work with children.  The bright colors and patterns naturally draw viewers to the work, causing passers-by to stop and look.  I use bold colors, patterns and textures to create a feeling of joy in my work.  Recent research on the aesthetics of joy looks at the positive effect that colors and forms can have on emotional wellbeing; there is a strong link between our surroundings and our mental health.  I see this impact first hand both in the joy I get in the creation of my work and through audience responses to my sculptures.

Much of my work is non-representational with inspiration coming from the forms, colors or patterns of the beads or blown bases.  Once the initial idea occurs to me, I work to create a feeling of harmony between the beads and base.  I want the average person to look at and respond to the colors, patterns and shapes.  For those pieces that are representational in nature, I want the concept to be recognized with ease and to elicit the audiences own memories or experiences in reaction to the work of art.

Birds of a Feather

For the upcoming GAS conference Glass Fashion show I wanted a design that reflects the style of my sculptures. In looking for inspiration, I decided upon exotic birds…their fun head plumage and brilliant colors were a perfect starting point for my design. Creating the beads and sewing the costume will be one project for this coming summer through the winter. I can’t wait to strut around in this colorful outfit for the fashion show. Pictures to come after the show…they are a secret until then.