I am a mixed media sculptor who combines unrelated imagery into hybrid sculptures to explore cultural contexts between generations of people. I often use a vintage toy/‘folk art’ aesthetic as a way to talk about the passing down of cultural values from one generation to the next.
I gravitated towards using found objects and mixed media at an early age since I was a fairly poor kid who would rescue other kids’ discarded plastic model airplanes, cars and ships from the trash to rework them. Since I could seldom afford to purchase new models to make, I would prolong my enjoyment by making dioramas showing wear and tear, bullet holes, or ‘flak’ damage. This led me to study historical photos and I learned how to ‘fake’ elements of the models by making them out of found objects. This helped me to visualize everything more like an engineer and ‘see’ discarded objects in a new light.
In realizing the potential of a found object separate from its original function is to realize the essence of what I call my ‘make do aesthetic’. “Making do” is something people all over the world employ by re-purposing material to fit their needs. My ancestors had this mindset when they first moved to Minnesota in order to survive and prosper in the tough environment of the upper Midwest.
“Making do” is a quality I admire in all peoples.