Diversity Statement

I am naturally interested in learning from experiences that are different than my own -- that is the ethos of my artistic practice. I yearn to explore topics that are outside of my purview, often taking deep dives into research and fieldwork to better understand the circumstances or experiences of others. I am driven to create work that is accessible and may shed light on a subject that others have not yet encountered. This empathy I share for both my subject matter and my audience stems from gathered experiences throughout my life.

Growing up with a younger brother who has autism taught me a certain patience and tenacity. My parents taught me to be observant and attentive, understanding the varied needs of the people around me. I spent many winters skiing with the New Hampshire Special Olympics, as my brother was a participant and medalist. Of course, my brother was not the only child I encountered who had a disability. My home life gave me a better sense of the experiences and challenges that people with disabilities face and expanded my awareness and encouragement for those individuals.

I went to the largest public high school in New Hampshire. Early on I was encouraged by a teacher to join the Multicultural Club. I soon fell in love with learning about the diverse student body through food, culture, and dance. I never knew about New Hampshire’s large refugee population until joining, and often helped the new students (most of which knew very little English) acclimate to a vastly new environment. By my senior year, I was nominated as a committee member of the club and continued to promote and assist in various diversity activities, including painting murals of all the countries our school represented and assembling a Multicultural Week with daily activities where everyone could share their customs in an open environment.

I again encountered diversity at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. The art school environment widened my understanding of the walks of life people come from, entwined with understanding how art making comes from this place of self experience and interpretation of others. It was during my education here that I first felt comfortable making artwork about my childhood with my brother. The art school environment taught me and my classmates how to be free in our creativity, even if that means discussing newly formed questions about sexuality, gender, feminism, heritage, cultural appropriation, and disability.

I think about my own motivations for being an artist. Foremost, artwork is often a reflection of the self. I hope I can be the kind of professor that facilitates an inclusive and thought-provoking classroom where everyone can feel comfortable making what will best spread their opinions and messages. I believe diversity in the classroom is key to understanding the fantastically varied lives we live essential to a productive and informed educational setting.

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