MANIC DESIGN STUDIOS

It’s my story and I am sticking to it

I was born in Mentor, Ohio and grew up all over the east side of Cleveland. One thing I will always remember as a kid was from 1st grade: I got in trouble for coloring with the side of the crayon instead of the tip; it occurred to me that the side worked much better for drawing fish scales but this type of thinking was frowned upon and I was quickly reprimanded for using an alternative technique by my first grade art teacher, Mrs. Coolidge. As if this wasn’t enough questionable behavior, I also had an unhealthy access to gunpowder and explosives, as my grandfather was a gunsmith. Both of these experiences would definitely play a defining role in how I would later think about and approach my work.

My exposure to the art world was accidental and somewhat mysterious—wrapped up in the bad behavior of cutting class to go see things and the group of people I started to hang out with. I was a member of the Youth International Party (Yippies) at my high school, pranking political structures and producing media that attacked the power structures there. The prankster nature of the Yippies started me on my indulgence in political action with a sense of humor.

Once I started at Antioch, my worldview and art-making flourished. I was fortunate to have a wildly dynamic group of professors and meet a group of artists that I still work with today. In a state of abject poverty, we took chances and experimented with worlds that seemed endless in possibility. I designed, I performed, I directed, I built and interacted with a vibrant community that allowed me to focus on my production and my craft. Antioch is where I had my eyes opened, my fears realized, and my senses overwhelmed. I designed my own B.S. in Visual Arts and Performance Theory and then went on to earn an MFA in Sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).