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My effort to live gracefully within a body increasingly defined by disability requires that I redefine traditional notions of beauty, strength, independence, and fragility. Disability impacts all aspects of my life. It is part of my identity and as such is the lens through which I see the world. I create works that are intentionally beautiful and affirmative in their meaning. I am currently making a series of prints that explore visually what is “normal,” since that and the concept of “inclusivity” are fundamental to the disability experience. Water’s buoyancy lifts and supports all bodies, which is why it is a powerful metaphor within the disability community. My etchings woodcuts and artist books that are part of an effort reframe the language around disability and to address not the physicality that we do not have or have lost, but rather to speak about what we know and how we know it. Printmaking is my language, and it is cut, pieced re-assembled and sewn together much as my own life is. It is my attempt to re-imagine fragility and re-embrace a kind of strength that includes that fragility.
I was born in 1952 and grew up in Kentucky. My BFA and MFA are both from Indiana University. I taught Printmaking and Book Arts at Kenyon College from 1979- 1983, and at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design from 1983- 1988. In 1988 I opened Catbird (on the Yadkin) Press in NC where we live and work today. I have been a printmaker since about 1972. I should tell you that my visual arts career is only part of what I do, and part of how I define myself as an artist, and person. I work also as a storyteller, puppeteer, co-director of Catbird Press, and as an advocate for disability issues. I was drawn to printmaking because of the expressive nature of its history. As a lover of poetry and a storytelling, I am naturally drawn to works that use both words and images. As a printmaker and book artist I work with images and language seen through the lens of disability and difference.