I figure like most things I should start at the beginning. I have always had some artistic talent since I was little but never really acted on it till I was a freshman at Mount Olive High School. For all four years I attended Mount Olive High School I took art classes and was a part of National Art Honor Society. In high school I learned the basics of drawing and painting, along with a little graphic design. The skills that I learned there have helped me the most over the years was composition skills and color theory skills. Oh and on a side note I'm a bit of a nerd but I dont see that to be anything but a plus!
After graduating from Mount Olive High in spring of 2003 I was at a loss on what I wanted to do with myself. I applied to my local community college, County College of Morris, to see which direction I wanted to take with my life. I began as a Biology major while taking art courses on the side. I found out rather quickly that maybe I wasn't as passionate about that subject as I previously thought and decided to change it. I thought about it for quite some time and realized that what I really wanted to do with my life was art, it really was the only thing that I was passionate for that brought me happiness. So once I switched over I took courses in Painting, Basic Drawing and Figure Drawing along with 2-D and 3-D courses. I then took a portfolio and presentation course which prepared me for the two art exhibitions I was to be a part of that fall and summer. They were the County College of Morris Student Show Fall 2005 and Spring 2006, Though they were shows required to do for a class I finally had my first chance to feel what putting on an art show was really like. Soon after that spring semester at the County College of Morris I decided to transfer out.
The college I decided to transfer to was a local college called Centenary which is located in Hackettstown, NJ. I began classes right away Advanced Painting and Printmaking. I finally felt like I was really getting more out of my classes here and my professor, Professor Yoshimine, was helping me really hone in on my skills as an artist. I was starting to really find myself in my art and was able to portray it better. I also took classes in Graphic Design learning programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator along with InDesign and a little bit of Dreamweaver. I also took classes in Black and White Photography where I learned to even better my compositions skills along with learning how to develope my own film and pictures. All the classes I took at Centenary made me feel as though the processes in my art were more intimate and enjoyable then ever before. My final semester was an interesting one because not only did I decide to take an Independent Study I also had to put on my Thesis exhibition all while being pregnant with my son in my final trimester. Believe me it wasn't a walk in the park but it was a time in my life I will cherish and never forget. In the Fall semester of 2008 I put on my BFA Senior Thesis Solo Exhibition which was one of the proudest moments in my life. There I had two floors of just my artwork for everyone to see. It ran for about 3 months and then was taken down. Just about a week after my opening reception for my Thesis Show my son was born. I was proud of myself, I had put on a Solo exhibition that year and produced about ten paintings for my Independent study along with all my work for my other classes. I had attended Centenary College for two years and walked away that January 2009 with my BFA in Fine Arts with the discipline in Art and Design. I was really feeling like a lucky girl and decided with such an accomplishment that maybe I'd take some time to myself to recoup and raise my son.
A few months later I got an email from a old fellow classmate of mine. She was looking to put together an Art Alumni Exhibition for the Alumni weekend that Centenary has every year in the fall. She asked if I would be interested in submitting work and since I had lost my great grandmother just a few months previous to her asking I said yes. So I showed once again in October of 2009 which was nice because I not only got back into my art groove but I also met some really nice people that I am still friends with today. About a week or two later I got a call saying I was one of the best in shows at this Art Exhibtion. They asked if I would be able to put some art together for the Best in Show Exhibition and I said sure why not. So come January of 2010 I showed once again with two paintings, some digital photography and a set of masks that I made by hand. I wanted to show diversity in this show and I believe I accomplished just that.
A few weeks passed and I went though a rather traumatic time in my life, a time that literally changed my life and put me in another direction. My grandmother passed and it was quite a hard blow because she was a big part in my life. Then not three days later the man I was with for four years and had a son with decided to break my heart and leave me. So I picked up all that I had and moved out with my son in hand trying to pick up the pieces that seemed to be strewn all around me. It was a hard time in my life, probably the lowest days I've ever seen. But I had to move on and do what I needed to do not only for me but for my son. I got a call the beginning of June of 2010 and was told that yet again they wanted to put together another Art Alumni Exhibition. I was excited and told her I'd let her know soon. As the first two months rolled by I realized that I couldn't paint. There was something in me that just wouldn't let me do it. So I contacted her and apologized to her and told her that I was unfortunately not going to enter because I was just not ready to paint. For months I thought and thought about it, why couldn't I paint. Then I realized that I didn't even sing anymore, that story we will leave for another day, but I always bust out into song randomly and enjoy my days.... and that was it. I finally realized it. I wasn't happy, in fact I was most likely depressed. Shortly before I split from my ex I had randomly felt a weight lifted off my shoulders and the only thing I could associate it to then was possibly Postpartum depression. Maybe all the things I was going through was just bringing it back. So I started to build back my confidence and my self worth. Believe me in the beginning it was hard and probably not a pretty sight but in the end it was all worth while.
So 2010 soon ended and I was feeling great, I had good people surrounding me and a new lease on life. In April of 2011 I was contacted by my professor from Centenary, Professor Yoshimine, and the head of the Alumni office and asked if I would be willing to put on the 3rd Annual Art Alumni Exhibition at Centenary this year. So after much thought and preparation I would do it. So since May of this year I have been planning and putting together the 3rd Annual Art Alumni Exhibtion along with many, many other things. Im not only working towards opening up my own photography business that I am going to run out of my house. I'm raising my son as a single mother and maybe one day open up a art gallery of my own. I'm sure all will be accomplished in due time.
So with all I have accomplished and all that I have yet to I look forward to including you all in it as time roles on. On that note I bid you all farewell for now. I'm headed off to get ready for the opening reception for the 3rd Annual Art Alumni Exhibtion of 2011, Wish me luck!