I love New Orleans. I have lived most of my "adult" life in the Garden District, the French Quarter, the Marigny Triangle, and now Bywater. I may not be native, but I like to think I am "local" and that drives me to create art reflective of my love for this frustratingly glorious home I adore.
My signature Louisiana Live Oak collection was born in the days that followed the Federal Levee Disaster of 2005, known to the rest of the world as Katrina. Creating art for the sake of beauty alone was no longer enough, meaning was now necessary. Live oaks are gorgeous, but they are also strong and resilient, making them a perfect metaphor -- both then and now.
Do you have a favorite Live Oak tree? Think about commissioning a piece of jewelry that will keep it always close to your heart.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Wearable Wire Sculpture
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans?
It's so easy to find inspiration. It's almost too much, it's literally everywhere.
What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work? It sounds cliche, but the whole energy and vibe of Bywater.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
It starts with a lot of procrastination! I ponder, I think, I observe, I imagine, I engineer. Then I start to put it all together and realize, wow, that doesn't quite work. But what doesn't work usually has some pretty good clues as to what will, so I always try to listen to the work. I'm a total process geek.
Where do you draw inspiration?
The air, the sky, the rhythm, the architecture, the colors and, of course, the trees. I strive to maintain a high standard. My work today is only as good as the work that follows it becomes.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
Van Gogh. Because of the passion he brought to his art. The connection from his heart to the canvas is so direct. Jewelry-wise, I enjoy looking at estate jewelry.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
I would say it's more a musical moment that speaks to my work. It was New Year's Eve going into 2006. It was a cold, drizzling, sparkling night. There were fewer people on Jackson Square than you usually see lined up at Cafe du Monde on any given day. But when Arlo Guthrie came onstage and sang City of New Orleans, we all knew exactly why we had returned.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
Escorting unsuspecting visitors on tours of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Well, at least it was. Now you can find me playing with my cat, Coco the Cat Monkey.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
I love a cool Spring morning when it smells like rain and feels like anything can happen. I also love the first twinge of Autumn with its wisp of melancholy in the air.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
My oak trees are the only plant life I have ever had luck with! Some people are just born with a black thumb. My case is far worse, I am indeed the Dr. Kevorkian of botany.
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Where You Can Find My Work
At the moment, you can find my work here on the Where Y'Art gallery site. After we weather the current storm I hope you will come say hello to me at the Arts Market of New Orleans at Palmer Park on the last Saturday of every month. And do plan on visiting and supporting The Shop at the Collection, part of the gorgeous new facility of The Historic New Orleans Collection at 520 Royal Street.