Artist’s Statement


I’m not supposed to be here. My work is not supposed exist. Born into devastating poverty in rural Appalachia I knew art existed but I was 20 before I first visited an art gallery, 24 an art museum. The life my mother envisioned for me was one continuing the cycle of devastating poverty/child abuse/unendurable hardscrabble survival. Because my creativity threatened her vision she became obsessed with destroying it. After finally escaping to the nearest university that accepted financial aid I graduated and promptly started working in a sewing factory for minimum wage. I had to pay rent and eat. Scraping and scrimping I managed to piece together a ragged patchwork quilt of a life centered upon creativity. Nothing could take that away from me. That is what I thought until 2012 when I was in a horrific motor vehicle accident and suffered two shattered wrists and broken fingers. My family exercised their resentment towards me and my creativity and abandoned me in casts to recover unassisted. My humanity stripped from me and unable to move anything except my right thumb, ring finger and pinkie I turned to slowly and painfully sewing together pieces of fabric into tiny quilts to survive my ordeal. After my casts were removed I decided to keep quilting. Instead of providing warmth and comfort my quilt/pencil/ink pieces directly confront my experience of dehumanization and asks questions about the nature of pornography, the opioid crisis and the pandemic.
Yet here I am.