Master of Arts, Teaching
Hillbruner Artists' Book Fellowship Recipient
MA in Teaching, SAIC, 2011
Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Michigan, 2004
Illinois Art Education Association Graduate Student Scholarship, 2010
Tri-Fold: New Perspectives on Book Arts, Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY, 2010-11
Altered Books, [Artspace] at Untitled, Oklahoma City, OK, 2010
From Here to There Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection Exhibit, SAIC, 2010
Experience at SAIC
My experience at SAIC has helped me merge my personal art and teaching experiences into a more complete artistic practice. Through a strong foundation in theory classes and undergoing extensive action research in public schools, I have been inspired to continue exploring how we learn and gain literacy through the arts.
My experimental book forms originate from my handwritten words on paper that are physically manipulated into more three-dimensional and tangible platforms for “reading.” The pieces experiment with new methods of reading in a nonlinear manner. In a digital age that challenges the relevance of the traditional book, these pieces consider other ways to envision the act and experience of reading and writing. Personal journal writing and found pages from books are embedded in winding and sometimes circular paths. These pathways reference rivers, veins, maps, the Internet, literacy, and the changing systems of thinking and communicating information.
These pieces have been made in conjunction with my journey through the Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). As part of my commitment to art education and my masters thesis research, I chose to use the book form as not only the platform for my own artistic expression but as a potentially powerful pedagogical tool. The new methods and formats for communicating information, whether through the Internet, electronic books, or audio and video media, challenge educators to look at literacy, that is, the understanding of the symbols in our world, more critically with students.
In my thesis research, I collected more than 300 used books and invited students in a Chicago-area high school to explore their conceptual associations with a physical book. Using my own “Computer Book” piece as inspiration, students were asked to make “hyperlinks” using thread or cord. The students linked from their own embedded personal objects and images to associated text inside the pages of a book, creating a web page hyperlink in analog form.
Through ongoing reflection and analysis of this research, I have discovered how altering books can be a transformative experience for students who have felt disconnected from books and the book form. By asking students to construct their own meaning and interpretation with found books, students have brought unused books to life and developed a more sustaining relationship with and personally meaningful method to “read” the book.
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.