I was born in Hammond, Indiana, and grew up across the street from the very toxic Little Calumet River. In the mid 1950’s my family moved to Arizona, where I attended Judson, a funky school with both calf roping and polo. During the turbulent Civil Rights and Vietnam eras, I received a BA in English and History from the University of Arizona, and later, after my daughter Whitney and son Josh were born, I received a BFA in Ceramics and Painting from Pacific Lutheran University and an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Puget Sound. When my children were young I owned and directed Arcadia Montessori School. I have taught ceramics and painting in high schools and universities, was a stockbroker with Merrill Lynch, and, a realtor with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s. David Keyes and I owned Tacoma Art Pottery. Keyes designed pieces and I managed the day to day operations in the studio with 7 - 10 artists reproducing his designs. I stained each piece before final firing. The pottery was sold in galleries throughout the United States.
My art has dealt with a personal reaction to the destruction of the natural environment, as experienced growing up in the industrial northeast corner of Indiana, as well as, living in the industrial town of Tacoma, Washington. Tacoma’s Commencement Bay was put on the Superfund National Priorities List in 1983 due to widespread contamination of the water. Research in the library proved that many of the toxins found in my home town were also in Tacoma’s water. I love being outside and hiking, so my immediate surroundings have always affected the art I make.
I have also used satirical visual imagery to describe the plight of wildlife, i.e. animal suicides: rattlesnake attacking itself, giraffe with its neck as a noose, rhino goring itself. From the time we kids watched a live nuclear bomb test in New Mexico, on a TV my dad set up on the stage of my grade school gymnasium, up to the present, I have made art about nuclear weapons. First these were sculptures and assemblages, and more recently, they are paintings with explosions in the background, animals in the foreground. Breast cancer led to a series of paintings “single-breasted pin up girls.”
Over the years I’ve exhibited my ceramics, paintings and mixed media assemblages in galleries and museums, including, Tucson Art Center, The Heard Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona, and The Carnegie Institute, State Capitol Museum and Henry Gallery in Washington, and the Sonoran Art League Gallery. I have participated in Hidden in the Hills Studio Tours.
In the mid 1990’s I began writing as a daily practice and my first short story was printed in The Story Teller, published by the Society of Southwestern Authors in 2015. After re-reading my travel diary from a trip to Europe with my sister and parents, I spent four years working on a humorous and informative memoir, now available on Amazon books and Kindle: Moscow 1959: A Week with Dad Behind the Iron Curtain.
Recently we moved to a 1957 home in the Cave Creek hills, where I continue to write, and, work in my art studio. My husband Mike Watt and I live surrounded by wildlife and wonderful views in all directions. We still love to hike and spend as much time outside as possible.