Tag: Attempting Utopia

ALUMINATURE @ Swanson Contemporary

ALUMINATURE is an exhibition that featured recent and current work, using the natural environment as a subject while incorporating aluminum as a substrate. In my art practice, I reference the photographic past in my present explorations with the landscape.  Identity, my connection with the natural environment, nostalgia, and an obsession with symbolism are all present in this exhibition.


Bewilderbeast (left) and Back with Butterfly Wings from LUMINIFEROUS.


Earliest works from Alt-Country and ATTEMPTING UTOPIA, romanticize the unknown in both near and far away lands through dye sublimation printing onto clear aluminum.  The raw surface comes to life under proper lighting and changes as one moves around it, representing the inevitable while instilling the inability to look away.


Eden (left) and New (found) Harmony from ATTEMPTING UTOPIA


LUMINIFEROUS: ADVENTURES IN METAL follows from desire to continue working with a reflective surface while maintaining a hands-on approach in processing digital imagery through the use of digital image transfers.  Using extra heavy duty aluminum foil purposefully distressed in a dishwasher, images are transferred onto large custom-made substrates that reference photographic plates used in creating tintypes, another 19th century process of direct positives on thin sheets of metal.


DOGWOODS, Digital Image Transfers and Oil Paint on Custom-Made Aluminum Substrate, 35.5” x 36”


phyto- + -graphy discards the lens entirely and documents procured plant specimens without a camera when aging aluminum plates with a slow development, solar cooking process. The work references both photograms of botanical specimens used as scientific illustrations and visions from the collective unconscious.


Horse Chestnut 1 and 2 from phyto- + -graphy


selections from phyto- + -graphy


The evidence that people are drawn to shiny things is all around us: from shimmery advertisements in magazines and automobiles ads to glimmering gold iPhones. The use of aluminum purposefully attracts the viewer, inviting their engagement to the phenomena of the natural world, with the hope that appreciation of the work ultimately translates to the appreciation and protection of the natural environment.


Voyage (left) and Thru the Leaves come Autumn (right)


ALUMINATURE was a featured exhibition in the 2017 Louisville Photo Biennial, a regional festival occurring in over 60 venues throughout Louisville, Lexington and Southern Indiana celebrating artistic excellence in this rich and diverse medium. The Photo Biennial represents a cooperative effort among local museums, galleries, universities and other public venues to give viewers the opportunity to learn about and to appreciate photography.



“Ways of Seeing”, a statewide traveling exhibition

Artwork that depicts an alternate reality is the feature of the Kentucky Arts Council’s traveling exhibit titled “Ways of Seeing.”  The work is abstract, conceptual, fantasy-based and experimental.  Some pieces imagine an alternate reality by exploring the unknown or by re-envisioning the known world.  Each work is by an artist in the Kentucky Crafted program or a recipient of the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship and will travel to 5 venues around the Commonwealth of Kentucky through December 2017.

Looking Backwards 2 (from Attempting Utopia series), Dye Sublimation on Aluminum, featured in “Ways of Seeing” exhibition.

As a 2014 Al Smith Fellowship recipient, it’s a real honor to be a featured artist in this exhibition and I’m also very grateful for the opportunity to have my work travel across Kentucky.  I must admit that the show is traveling to places in the state I have yet to visit.   And I love going to places I have never been before…even if it’s vicariously through my artwork!

Check out the exhibition in the following locations: (I will update this page with specific dates for shows in Williamsburg, Somerset and Madisonville when that information becomes available)

Appalachian Artisan Center, Hindman October 3rd – December 22 2016
Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts, Richmond January 9th – February 26th 2017
Whitley County Fine Arts, Williamsburg March – May 2017
Center for Rural Development, Somerset June – August 2017
Glema Mahr Center for the Arts, Madisonville September – December 2017


“‘Ways of Seeing’ transports the viewer to a different time and place and gives them a sense of otherworldliness,” said Lori Meadows, Kentucky Arts Council Executive Director.  I’m ready to transport myself to some of these smaller towns, check out areas of Kentucky currently unfamiliar to me and see these works in person!

Road trip anyone?



Upcoming Exhibition: Firmly Rooted 2016 in Lexington, KY

New (found) Harmony
New (found) Harmony, Dye Sub Print on Aluminum, 24″ x 24″

Excited to announce that New (found) Harmonyfrom my recent series Attempting Utopia, was selected for the upcoming  Firmly Rooted 2016 exhibition at M.S. Rezny Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky!!  Over 290 artworks were submitted in this national call for art that ‘addresses our ongoing symbiotic relationship with plants’.  Juror Stuart Horodner, Director of the University of Kentucky Art Museum, selected 29 artworks for the exhibit.



The exhibition dates of Firmly Rooted 2016 are July 12th – August 20th with an Artists Reception and Awards Ceremony on Friday, July 15th, 5-8pm.  Stop by the gallery and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Fun Fact!  I was also a selected artist in the Firmly Rooted 2012 Exhibition.   The Lexington Herald Leader did an article on the show and featured my work as well.  Check it out!


Attempting Utopia is a series of macroscopically photographed plant life in early stages of conception. Captured entirely in my back yard, these images, both beautiful and alien, parallel my experiences in starting anew.  I abstract the bright future idea by exponentially enlarging the images and dye sub printing onto aluminum, which radiates a shininess affiliated with success.  Images are frameless and float off the wall, constantly changing with the light as you move around them, representing the inevitable.  Titles in the series reference real and fictionalized utopian/dystopian societies.  (Shout out to Unique Imaging Concepts who printed the work…they are awesome!)


New (found) Harmony and others from Attempting Utopia displayed in the current version of my front room.

See you in Lexington!