Artist Statement “Homegrown”
Homegrown is about local food and some of the local places that offer an amazing array of fresh food. The paintings explore the movement of food from farm and waters to markets and to table. There are many more foods and many more food places that remain to be painted – these are a few.
The paintings also celebrate the beauty of these foods: the intricate colors of blue crabs, the soft violet of turnips. I have enjoyed exploring the colors and shapes of each and every one.
Woven through these pieces are my food memories and stories, a sort of autobiography in food. The memories begin in my native mountains, where my grandmother cooked traditional food from her garden: creamed corn, okra and squash fried in cornmeal, green beans and peas, sliced tomatoes still warm from the sun. The Mountain Apples paintings are also an homage to her and the endless jars of apple sauce and jelly she preserved every fall. When I go home to visit my mother, she cooks the same foods: they are our legacy and a source of deep comfort.
In 1979, I first came to the coast of North Carolina and have since spent more years here than in my native mountains. My landlady in Oriental, Miss Irma, had the good grace not to laugh when I asked her how to cut the heads off shrimp and taught me how to catch blue crabs. My collards recipe came from the checkout lady at the grocery store in Burgaw, where I bought my first bunch to cook for my husband. I now wonder how I ever lived without oysters.
Simply put, our local foods are part of who we are and what makes a place home. Regardless of where you are from or where you call home, I hope this show sparks conversations about your food memories and about a love of local food.
About the Artist
I am a native of Pisgah Forest, North Carolina. Although I grew up drawing and making objects, I took other career paths. I worked as an architectural historian, in arts administration, and managed high complexity global projects for IBM. I hold degrees in American Studies from Davidson College and Information Systems, Cameron School of Business, UNCW.
Since 2013 I have focused on making art. I began by taking classes at the Museum School at Cameron Art Museum, and in May 2018 I received an AFA in Visual Art from Cape Fear Community College.
I have maintained a studio practice at ACME Art Studios since 2014.
I began working in collage and mixed media in 2013, and it continues to be my touchstone. My first solo show in 2016 at ACES Gallery, Wilmington, NC featured this work. I am also a print maker and painter in both acrylics and oil, representationally and non-representationally.
My most recent work explores local foods and local food sources. All are painted in oil on canvas and I am working in larger scale formats.