Viola_As I Am Woman • 2014 •
The Howland Cultural Center • 477 Main Street
The character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Viola, is shipwrecked and distressed because her twin brother, Sebastian, may have been lost at sea. In order to get a job with Duke Orsino of Illyria she disguises herself as a man and calls herself Cesario. The Duke asks Cesario to woo Olivia on his behalf. Unexpectedly, Olivia falls in love with “Cesario” and Viola falls in love with the Duke and the Duke seems to fancy Cesario but in the final dramatic disclosure, he is (also) in love with Viola and, Viola’s twin brother, having survived the shipwreck, falls in love with Olivia.
Really? Well, Shakespeare draws no (analytical) conclusions but cross-dressing, cross-gender and cross-purposing ignite some serious introspection from the audience: Who am I? Why? What for?
The sculpture, Viola_As I am Woman is inspired by contradictions of disguise and revelation, impermanence and everlasting, honesty and deception.
I was born and raised in Chicago. In 1964 I earned a BA at the University of lllinois, moved to NY, raised a family and when my youngest was 8 years old, I returned to formal studies and earned my MFA at SUNY New Paltz in 1993. Straight out of the program, I received a series of public art commissions lasting from 1995 through 2004. With several artist residencies – two at the Vermont Studio Center and another year-long one in Ellenville, NY, I focused on a studio practice. The local Hudson Valley projects include the Morse School Hudson River Mural in Poughkeepsie, Mill Street Loft Mural, Poughkeepsie, Ulster County Poorhouse Memorial in New Paltz, NY, Anderson School for Autism , the Rosendale Rhinoceros in Rosendale, NY and a 60′ concrete whale on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie. For three years I taught at Marist College; one year visiting professor at SUNY New Paltz and ten years as a Dutchess Community College adjunct professor. I currently live and work in Cragsmoor, NY. When I’m not in my studio, I love to hike, run mountain trails and make kimchee.