From a young age, my parents encouraged scientific exploration and creativity. My father who was a clinical biologist and small animal surgeon would take my sisters and me to “Take-Your-Daughter” to work days at the National Institutes of Health, and weekend trips to D.C. to explore the Smithsonian museums & the National Zoo. These are some of my favorite memories and were driving factors that led me to become a biologist, teacher, and artist.
Through all my work, my goal is to foster an appreciation of the complexity of life and how we interact with each other, and the environment. The diversity of forms and functions in the natural world inspires makes the field of biology one of my deepest fascinations. There is always something new to learn and I am drawn to explore what I do not know, yet.
One of my recurrent questions is: what determines the longevity of humans, animals, and plants? However beautiful or powerful an organism may be, it will succumb to death. Quickly fading flowers and short-lived butterflies are everyday reminders of the circle of life. Bodies return to the earth and provide nourishment for new life. We know that a combination of genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors play an integral role in how long we live. But it is this interconnectedness that is often overlooked, and a concept I consider in the narratives I share through my art.
The bones which make up our skeletons are unique and varied, coming together to create the strongest organ of our bodies. Our skeletons are our framework during our life and the last to return to the earth after our death. Skeletons are the primary subject of my Eternity series of artwork, inspired by my appreciation for the form and function of the skeleton combined with the colorful sugar skull style art on display during the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
During this three-day celebration, families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion and celebrate by eating, drinking, and dancing. It is believed that the border between the spirit world and the living world dissolves, and the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to be celebrated as honored guests with their loved ones.
In my eternity series, the borders between life and death also dissolve, and my vibrant skeletons appear colorful, alive, and animated. My colorful, high-contrast style is designed to draw viewers into the scene and spark that sense of wonder. Curiosity and learning are essential to thrive and are the driving factors in my work.