I am curious about human interactive dynamics, so I create art and participatory projects that involve people, and are about people. I strive to connect participants to social issues, their environment, and their own creativity through work that stems from community discussion, participation, and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Participatory projects begin with creative engagement with community as I strive to interpret their desires for edification and change. The eventual products generated by these interactions are sculptures (with dimension and form), but they range in format from installation to video and from item to event. Because of this variety, I rarely rely on the materials and formats commonly found in traditional public sculpture, but instead use materials and methods best suited to communicate specific community issues for each project. Rather than making work for a distant art market, I often use my local community (College Corner, OH) as an initial test-site, but I work to create versatile forms that can be eventually applied to global communities. Like any contemporary practice, there are as many terms for this it as there are theorists who write about it, and likely it will be codified with a single definition in the future. That said, my current work has been described as an embrace of relational aesthetics, as socially engaged art, or as dialogical art. All of these appropriately describe artistic practices that are created through social relationships and contexts, such as communities, rather than independent, private, or commodifying spaces such as galleries, but I prefer to use the term social sculpture to describe my work. The art that I create is informed by precedents in fields of study that lie outside of traditional art practice, fields that focus on connections between people and/or environment (such as biology, sociology, anthropology, ecology, and agriculture), and the generative mechanism depends on dialog. As an artist working in this way I have many roles: I am facilitator, participant, and craftsman.
My creative work can be divided into two bodies: gallery exhibition (traditional sculpture) and site-specific/collaborative work (dialogical art). The first category includes juried, invitational, and competitive exhibitions, all of which involve the careful fabrication of items in the studio and then installation on-site. The second category includes outdoor sculptures, site-specific pieces, performances, and collaborations with other groups working on any of the above. My work always connects with an audience, however traditional art gallery and museum exhibitions are not always consistent with my goals so I use creative, non-traditional exhibition and presentation strategies. I am still a consummate “maker,” but you will see that my methodology has trended towards creating dialogical art events in recent years.