In my own words...

Biography

It was December 25th, and my mother left Linda, my sister who was only fifteen months older, opening her first Christmas presents to deliver her second daughter, me, at 12:35 p.m. that afternoon. It was always very special being born on Christmas. I have always felt blessed when the people in my life refer to me as “Joy To The World”.

Growing up with three sisters, a mother who was a professional flutist and a father who was an artist, there was always studying and practicing going on at home. I studied piano for nine years and flute for five. My family had a ritual of going to my mother's concerts and having the special guest artists over to our house for special homemade delicacies. I was always intrigued by these very talented people. Even though my piano teacher informed my mother that I had the ability to become a concert pianist, my mother knew that I was meant to do something different with my creative gifts.

I knew when I graduated high school that I would attend Parsons School of Design, The New School University. Although I did not get to go until I was in my late twenties after I received my first degree in Interior Design, I finally graduated with a BFA in fine art. My education at Parsons completed me as a person. It was the greatest experience of my life. The fine art department was amazing. Everyone, from the chair, Don Porcaro, to my sculpting professor, Vince Gargiulo, were so supportive and encouraging. I will never forget the day Vinnie handed me a stone and said, "Try this." The rest is history.

My grandfather had a monument business where I used to watch my father design the grave stones as a young girl. The history of working with stone was in my blood. My stone carving comes from within. I look at the stone and I am directed by my higher power as to where my hands go. I have almost an outer body experience when working. The stones I pick are by chance and I do not know what the finished product will look like until they are finished and polished.

My very first class at Parson's was the most inspirational to me. My teacher, Susan Hamilton, was showing us some works by famous sculptors. I was inspired by the work of Louise Bourgeois. Susan told us that Louise Bourgeois gave critiques when she had Salon visits at her home in the city and that she would give us a critique of our work. Many students tried to call her but didn't have any luck. In my Junior year at Parsons, I called and she answered the phone. I could not believe it. It was like talking to my friend. She scheduled me to come and I went in to see her three weeks later. Louise Bourgeois loved my work and she became the most inspiring person I have ever met. Ironically enough, she was also born on Christmas day. The best piece of advice she gave me was, "Do your work every day. Don't let other people tell you what to make. You know what is inside." She told me more about my work and knew where I was coming from more than anyone else before.

Now I have the opportunity to share my work and talents with all of you. For this gift, I am eternally grateful. My goal is to continue to do large participatory projects to raise funds for important issues that can impact our world and give back and set an example as an artist how powerful art can be to help in important ways and fulfill the needs of the world.

Joy