I was born on a June morning in Allentown, Pennsylvania. My parents, a jet engine mechanic and elementary school teacher gave me a loving home and encouraged me in everything, including my growing curiosity for art. My grandfather supplied my first drawing paper, where my imagination bloomed on the backs of those old Mack truck invoices. My grandmother, a painter and student of Walter Baum, was a beacon guiding me to be an artist. The more I drew, my hand became more deft, my interest more focused. I soaked up every art class and scribbled on every piece of paper I could find, with no idea that I would never stop.
When the Allentown Academy of the Arts began at Allen High School, I knew my direction. It was in these rooms, after hours of drawing apples or toast, that I saw the future. I saw the importance of art and artists and realized someone might actually pay me to create. Amazing. So from then on, all I wanted to be was a professional artist. I walked onto the Syracuse University quad in fall of 1998, wishing to change the world with my mind. The people I knew and things I learned built my mentality, formed the way I thought about the earth, society, and art. I found power in my paint strokes and a voice in eight a.m. critiques.
Following college, my head was filled with strange and ambitious dreams, but my prospects as an artistic commodity were dim to start. To get by, I swept the floor at a food bank, schlepped plumbing tools for my uncle, or dreaded the days at the paint bucket factory. The autumn of 2004 brought an opportunity, a group of progressive minds sought to beautify Allentown neighborhoods with mural art. On three unique projects, I apprenticed under three talented, seasoned muralists and learned how true professionals create a mural. I had a small taste of artistic and professional success, and there was no turning back. For the years following, I threw myself into learning about and creating public art. My experience has grown with countless obstacles and triumphant ventures . I have become a true professional muralist; adaptable, creative, and conscientious.
With the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for murals, teaching has become a new ardor. Working with students is challenging and infinitely rewarding, as I seek to embolden them with creativity, imagination, and collaboration. Inspiration abounds, and the transformative nature of art continues to drive me. I am a painter somehow because of everything outside of me, an artist because everything inside. Art is expressive journalism and I am the field reporter. I paint to find struggle and beauty, to rattle complacent minds and to build compassionate cities.