A few years ago I was in a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon. I was living in Italy and was only in Portland for a few days, on the road hopping from place to place. As I sat in that cafe sipping my americano, Built to Spill played over the speakers and to my surprise I almost started crying. Time ran backwards for a moment as I was enveloped memories of Seattle and I recognized just how far my life had gotten from my home.
I loved living in Italy, there are so many things to love about living in Italy – gelato, cobblestones, church bells, wine, pasta, museums around every corner – but it was never intended to last. The West is my home, always has been, always will be, even if I spend years of my life away The West is my culture; the music, the progressive thinking, the monumental landscapes, hiking, snowbanks, camping in the rain, etc. The culture of the West is the veil through which I feel the rest of the world.
And so I’ve spent the last couple of years steering my career West – residencies in Washington, a show in Hawaii, and on a whim last summer I applied to be the Lab Manager for Printmaking at Utah State University. I didn’t know what to expect from Utah or from Utah State University. I knew I wanted to be further west and I wanted to spend the majority of my time in a printshop instead of a digital studio.
What I have found here is beyond anything I could have hoped for – a beautiful home, supportive fun colleagues, students who are excited about printmaking, a large well equipped studio, a fantastic art museum, monumental landscapes and easy access to all things West Coast.
I’ve accepted a promotion to Area Head and Assistant Professor of Printmaking for Utah State University. I’m so very happy to be putting down roots in the Rocky Mountains. This means I’ll be spending more time on research, traveling to document more domestic violence shelters, and teaching our fantastic students. I’ll also be headed to Los Angeles a few times a semester and Seattle of course.
I’m excited to see what comes next!