Saturday, April 23, 2011

The long lost bio...

One year ago I moved from the wide-open plains of Wyoming to the dense urban environment of New York City to pursue an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons the New School for Design. I have a couple weeks left of the first year, and I'm excited to finally get this bio up and running after reading about everyone else below! Here is a little bit of context:

At some point in high school a friend and I hatched a plan to hike a mountain with hammocks in hand. I found it paradoxical that hammocks were relegated to backyards when they were much more enjoyable hanging over creeks, on mountainsides or on next to a lake. Since then, I have been curious about figuring out new uses for resources people take for granted or simply overlook.

While studying at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University in upstate New York, I found tremendous purpose in using discarded resources to create artwork. I was enthralled to justify being creative by using garbage and sought to inspire others to do the same. The solution was a free-in free-out material reuse program housed in a shipping container dubbed ‘RePo’. It still diverts about eight tons of usable materials away from the landfill every year, back into a cycle of creative reuse.

After graduating I flirted with Colorado, and was a resident with Colorado Art Ranch in Steamboat Springs, and later interned at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. After the work ended I moved back to Jackson, Wyoming and convinced a start up non-profit called the Center of Wonder to employ me as the Public Art Ambassador. My goal was to raise the awareness of the benefits public art provides and begin work on a public art master plan for the community.

During my two-year fellowship I created participatory projects with and for the community. In the background I explained the intricacies of public art policy with elected officials. The final public project was titled ‘Vertical Orchestra’, which transformed a ski lift into a musical carousel of live musicians playing to an audience relaxing in hammocks slung up in trees along the slope.

The Hardrock Revision opportunity is especially exciting to see how 'transdisciplinary collaboration' is defined outside the program of study I am engaged in. This is going to be an interesting adventure, and I will come with a couple extra hammocks in hand.

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