Although my Fulbright Fellowship was awarded in 1985-86, the experience of that year in Spain continues to reverberate in my artistic practice. It was during that time that my love for decorative art was both validated and deepened. While the timelessness of Eastern ceramics and the elegance of Islamic ceramics inspire and awe me, it is the celebratory nature of Spanish wares that fires my imagination. My hope is that my art reflects an underlying meaning manifest in Spanish decorative art and, even more inclusive, decorative art belonging to all cultures. Webster defines “decorate” as “to add honor to.” All art allows for a capacity to explore the mystery of existence. Decorative art reaffirms a belief that this mystery, this existence, deserves to be celebrated.
Recently, I have been experimenting with sculptural tiles. While working on these pieces, I have often thought about the abundance and exuberance of the ceramic tile work that adorned so many public and private spaces in Spain. Although I think of my work as individual studies and not surface ornamentation, I still remember my appreciation for the visual beauty that Spanish tiles lent to many churches, parks, municipal offices and homes.