At least once in every artist’s lifetime, an opportunity for creating a career-high creation presents itself. It’s often referred to as “being kissed by the muse.” Part of an artist’s job is to be able to recognize the best opportunity and capitalize on it. I live to discover those grand opportunities. Years ago, I heard opportunity knocking loudly at my door. The result turned out to be a career-altering journey.
In 2008, I was approached by curator Kate Stern to take part in a show entitled “The Art of Vision” at The Zimmer Museum in Beverly Hills. Every year, the museum has an invitation-only, themed exhibit to raises monies for children’s art education programs. All the artwork is auctioned to museum patrons.
A unique part of this show was that once Stern reviewed individual works, each artist was presented with an antique artifact from the Los Angeles area that she personally selected for its relevance to the exhibit theme. Each artifact was different, but together the artifacts told their own collective story. It was the job of the individual artists to understand how it applied to the art itself and maintained the integrity of the complete story.
Appropriate for me as a glass artist, I was given a circular beveled glass mirror from the 1920s. As I looked at the mirror, I began to see it as a metaphor for the Earth from space. My vision developed and grew. Once I conceptualized that I had the Earth in my hands, I wondered how it related to me and to others on the planet.
I am an ocean conservation artist. From that inspirational moment with the mirror, I realized I needed to create images that reflected the ocean devastation that I was studying. Every living thing on the planet is experiencing the effects of this worldwide destruction. I wanted the audience to look into the mirror, see themselves and realize that it is actually he or she who is responsible for the damage and destruction of our precious environment.
As individuals and collectively, we need to protect the environment. Our oceans are in great peril and it is up to us to do something to save them. Many people still mistakenly believe that the oceans are a never-ending resource despite scientifically proven evidence that this is not true. Resources are being depleted.
We cannot rely on slick politicians or unenforceable legal policy to fix the problem if we do not establish this as a fundamental and worldwide critical issue. While it is important to volunteer and donate money, we must all make fundamental changes in our every day habits. When we truly consider our own personal impact on our planet, we realize the critical concept that everything we do can make a difference. The truth is, actions have consequences, which are known as your personal “Earth Echo.”
It’s my hope that my art will, however minutely, shed light on these environmental issues and allow the viewer to gain knowledge to make a difference. I want us all to learn, before it is too late, that every living creature on this planet is tied to one another and that none of us can survive without a healthy planet. Each of us has an “Earth Echo” that defines us, our relationship with each other, and with our home, the planet Earth.
In order to create an image to support my message, I had to identify the largest problems: acid rain, human impact and global warming. Then, I was tasked with developing visual metaphors for these issues. This is always the artist’s puzzle: how do you weave the elements together to make a pleasant image but still keep the message intact?
Being blessed with experience in working with very diverse materials was an asset for me. I am able to surf easily between aluminum, hot glass and fused glass to create these works. Thus, you should be aware that when you are purchasing a piece from me, it’s more than buying an artistic object. You are purchasing something I am passionate about. I am creating something beautiful that I hope will bring joy to your life.
You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration as well as a piece of my heart, soul and a way I convey my “Earth Echo.”