Thursday, November 2, 2023

Way Back, But Less

 Totally forgot to make this post last Spring from my solo exhibition in Frederick...

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Way Back

 This is an old interview I found on the Wayback Machine, and at the urging of my therapist -- we were talking about having a conversation with my 15 year old self -- and I already did that!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Playing with Stained Glass

I recently attended an intimate workshop for making Moravian Stars, at Artist's Corner Stained Glass, facilitated by my friend Julie Baker! Here are some images, and my final (gift) star! It was super informative and fun!

Julie showing Allison and me what happens in the back

The Reception...

 Reception images for the 2022 MICA Faculty Exhibition...

Alfonso popped in at the last minute!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

2022 Faculty Show, MICA

I just dropped off three of my pieces today for the 2022 MICA Faculty Exhibition! My friend had to cart me over there in his car because of one BIG piece; easier to fit in his car than in my Prius!

Here are the deets!

What: 2022 MICA Faculty Exhibition
Where: MICA, Baltimore MD
When: November 17 - December 12, 2022
Reception: December 1, 5-7pm

Said BIG piece...

The Psychopomp Dances With Flames

Friday, November 4, 2022

Wheels of Vimāna Redux

I exhibited some of this work quite a few years ago...maybe 2016 or 2017? Anyway, here we go again with manyMANY more pieces. There should be twenty one total pieces in this March 2023 show! I have waited three years for this thing to happen and it's almost upon me! Excitement!

Here is the front design for the postcard I made, ready for printing soon...


The series mines what is not working, what has not been used, things that are seemingly “useless”, yet have been saved for years. The work emulates a machine, underscoring the very human ability to put things back together in terms of a life, in terms of a workable fix, in terms of healing. The pieces are becoming cogs; useful, engaging parts of the whole. Created as a centering mechanism, the mandalas became something of a conceptual response to machinism.

These particular mandalas were started during the Baltimore Uprising in 2015. I live not too far from the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and North Avenue where much of the action was occurring. The near constant, multi-day din of multiple helicopters overhead was the main impetus for this body of work. “Vimāna
”, from the Sanskrit, refers to ancient mythological flying machines; I likened them to the present day helicopter rotors/blades.

The issue (among others) was that I could not hear myself think, so this was a creative means of centering myself from the anxiety — of the pervasive noise pollution from the machines overhead, and of the violent machinations of society. While I am very used to hearing and seeing helicopters on the weekend nights, the events of 2015 brought a better understanding to me that it’s every day for some neighborhoods in the city. The perspective I had was ultimately about the effects of violence, and the tools I had as a person/artist to relieve these anxieties, to be able to reach for a sense of peace and wholeness where there was none. I recognized that many do not have the privilege of these same tools, or seemingly, the right to either “peace” or “quiet”.

Thursday, June 30, 2022


You could have waited for me,

but you didn't.

So I'm going to all the places I thought you should 

take me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Y'all. Shoot.

 What happened in the past year:

1) My dad died on this date last year and I planned the whole funeral by myself in like, three days, while also teaching several courses online. (ETA: I recorded a first day lesson later, the same night he died, and then broadcasted from hotel rooms and basements all over southeastern Wisconsin throughout the summer)

2) The next month: a mentor died suddenly

3) Up In Here: got dropped/ghosted by the dude I was seeing (for the first, not only time)

4) The next month: my cat, Tommy Scrapples died and I had to watch him suffer for a month beforehand

5) Got taken to zoom court and cross examined by my murderer brother over my dad's estate. Verbally fought back because apparently, people still don't understand their own laws on victimhood and domestic violence in Wisconsin....but okay

6) My brother then sent insane letters for several months to the court until the appeal was settled (they are now of record) --on my being an imposter who murdered the real Shana. (Shanna with two n's!)

7) Went through menopause within the year -- which was a total surprise. I was under the impression this would take much longer!

What also changed, positively: 

1) I got a treadmill and have managed to walk almost every day, my hip hurts wayway less now, and I am more flexible, again

2) I lost 13 pounds in about 2 months

3) I just started walking in the woods around Baltimore, because I realized how much I missed it when I went home to Wisconsin. Serenity Now. #calltoadventure

4) I am able to start traveling this summer!!!

5) I paid off all of my dad's debt today, on the first anniversary of his death. I was truly so panicked about running his estate, but I did really well!  All that's left is to sell the house...

6) I quit one of three jobs!

7) I finally have a few ideas for new art series' AND a new studio!

8) One of these ideas may or may not be dramatic readings of my brother's insane letters to the court, of which I have copies ;)

9) I have a podcast in the initial works...

10) I now have a tenant on my first floor, in Druscilla's studios, right next to mine. I have a few more things to paint, and then will be renting the other studio, across the hall in a bit...

Y'all. Shoot. This has been a MONUMENTAL YEAR for me, in terms of emotions and psyche. But I came out unscathed, and I think, ON TOP.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Pick Up Days Are Sad

There are only brief moments in time where my art is actually SEEN, and so when a show ends, I always have a bit of sadness. But at least they got some extra time to shine!

Here are some images from (the opening of) the show that just closed, "How We Are Healing"...

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Written In Pink Ink

A non-valentine Valentine from mom on May 31, 1989, I was 13. This was written within the last year of her life; she died in November '89.

It has been saved by me -- in pristine condition -- for all these years. Such a good mom. I don't believe I was so disappointed at the time, but she sure was, on my behalf.

This kind of love is still a mystery to me (a mother's love), or maybe all of it is... not necessarily the emotions, but the definition, the types, how to express each of them, and how to see them each in others. We should have more words for "love", because it really encompasses so many ways of being, and so many gestures, and so many different 'feels'. One word in a language is not nearly enough to express it all adequately.

her letter is written as follows:

My Dearest Daughter,

As I sit here on the eve of your graduation, I feel a real sadness in my heart that your talents have gone unrecognized by the public & staff at UCPS. I guess the reason for this (your lack of recognition) is very simple yet rather hard to accept. Your wonderful talents lie in the "arts" --music, dance, drama, speech and NEW ideas. I might also add that you have a great sense of responsibility & interest in helping others. Unfortunately for all students like you, there IS NO AWARD for creativity, responsibility & initiative at UCPS. Frankly, I think that this is a big, big error, but that's life! I truly feel that YOU did more for creativity than other students there. Your contributions to your school were many. To me, you were the BEST in all of these areas & I appreciate you and your creativity much more than a scholastically excellent or a 'Mr. Nice Guy' type. I admire what you've done & hope that these talents will not continue to be unappreciated in the future. I love you just the way you are.

All my love,
You're the greatest!

this is a corresponding piece I created using copies of the letter, from 2010

Deer Hart (Dear Heart) - Warm

On a darker note, this piece also contains the Neko Case lyric: "Blood from her heart spilled out onto my dress and was warm."

Elemental. Bloody. Love.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Slouching Into a New Year...

I thought I would drop some work I finished in the past month. A few diptychs belonging to the Doom Days series...

And here, I have an "evolution of" series of shots, culminating in the final diptych...


Monday, December 6, 2021

9 Total

I finished this series, Already Not Here, sometime last week.

I envision this as being presented in a grid formation, but I will have to explore it once the first three pieces are back to me from the exhibition, in late February.

This piece uses salt in the background, "to blind the devil"...and it refers to the layers of trauma experienced. 3 layers, for the 3 lines found in a haiku.

Haiku of Trauma

This title of this piece comes from a line in an Indigo Girls song, "Keeper of My Heart". I wanted this to feel scabbed, and dug-into, and layered with ink. All of the works in this series have a top layer of ink embedded into the surface, much like one would find in preparing an intaglio plate for printing.

For You, I Would Tattoo Me

The piece below utilizes a human figure and only half of a heart shape. This is also about the frames within frames, seen both visually, and then psychologically. It deals with issues of identity, which --as someone with PTSD-- has always been a bit murky and/or a bit dicey. Salt is used again, around the edges for a type of protection/purification.


This piece is about a certain person, from a certain spacetime.
 Formally, there is a sense of repetition within quite a few of these later pieces...

Hollow Words & Hashtag Platitudes

Much of the same here, but the title directly refers to the King of Hearts card, sometimes known as the "Suicide King".

The Suicidal King

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

"Doom Days" Interview

A recording of the Guided Pathways event at HCC, where I speak about my art in the Doom Days series, and the words....always the words, is below (about 50 minutes).

You can still view this online exhibition here:

Thursday, November 4, 2021

New Pathways

Last week I was so pleased to speak about my series, Doom Days, with students and faculty at Howard Community College! I was asked to speak to both the paintings, and the artist statement/poem.

Also last week, I received word that three of my pieces from my new series, Already Not Here, have been accepted into the exhibition, How We Are Healingan exhibition produced by curator, Sarah B. McCann, and in partnership with The Keswick Wise & Well Center's The Art of Healing Symposium

I'm looking forward to being a part of real, in-person exhibitions once again! But I'm not looking forward to figuring out how these printmaking plates will hang and be presented. I'm always setting myself up for a challenge, in that respect.