Something about my personality has always been uncomfortable for me. I easily get overwhelmed with all sorts of things in life, including stuff that should be fun. I guess I assumed it was depression, but that never felt quite right. It took me until my 35th year to finally put a label on it: anxiety. I don’t think this epiphany would impress my friends or family, it’s probably very obvious to people who know me.
Animals provide a great source of comfort for me, I admire their purity and freedom from neuroses. Their presence has the ability to get me out of my head and keep me down to earth.
Blowing bubbles at dogs exercise in learning how to manage my anxiety. It’s a reminder to myself that a blissful scene like this is something I can create and control. With the exception of a little thoughtfully placed digital enhancement, all of the bubbles are real (and the dogs are very patient).
I have been working as a professional pet sitter in the Providence, RI area for over ten years; the dogs featured here are all animals I take care of. As their guardian, I deeply love them and treat them as if they are my own. I cherish the fact that I have filled my life with so many trusted and intimate relationships with animals.
Photos on view through August 11 2018 at Julian’s restaurant 318 Broadway Providence
I never knew that drug bags were drug bags.
I see them on the ground everywhere I go: nice neighborhoods, “bad” neighborhoods, big cities, and family-friendly parks in small towns. I always thought they were for craft supplies, hardware, buttons, etc. I didn't question their purpose, I knew exactly what they were, until it hit me one day. I suppose my naiveté should be embarrassing, but I think it's endearing.
My family has been haunted by drug abuse for many years. In some ways my adolescence was robbed from me. Memories I thought didn't exist suddenly came to me when I discovered the truth of these bags; I now recall a bag floating in my family's pool, at the time I figured it was for nuts & bolts. Most of the items I put in these bags are things I have saved from childhood, I often tried to limit use of things special to me as a way to preserve them. Even as a kid I felt nostalgia for being a kid, maybe I somehow knew innocence wasn't as easy to hang on to as I hoped.
Time's Winged Chariot
The memories I have of my grandmother Frances Herman’s house are those of an idyllic cabin in the woods. There were rolling meadows and enchanting views of mountains, fresh vegetables in the garden, and always a bouquet of flowers on the dining room table. As a budding artist, I was fascinated by my grandmother’s art studio and supplies, she was talented in many medium, but most prolific in painting. Her subjects were scenes from the home and the surrounding landscape.
Unfortunately, my family spent over a decade estranged from my grandmother. When I finally returned as an adult, those memories I had dissolved into a bleak reality. The meadows had filled in long ago, and the interior of the house was covered in dust and crawling with rodents and bugs. What was once a peaceful retreat was now a place filled with anger, fueled by abuse and addiction. I was shocked by how much it changed, yet my family remembered it as a depressing place and said it had been that way long before I was born. I was confused by why I had memories of such a different place until I realized what I was actually remembering were the paintings. What I saw in my mind was creamy, vibrant oil paint depicting those scenes in the home. I'll never know if my grandmother was creating a fantasy world, something she wish existed, or if she had delusions, visions in her mind that were far from reality.
Photographs and paintings on display September 8-29 2018
Opening reception September 8 5-7pm
AS220 Main Gallery 115 Empire Street Providence
575 FEDERAL HILL/PHLOX
FRANCES IN THE STUDIO/SELF-PORTRAIT
RESTLESS/SCHWARTZ IN THE STUDIO LOFT
MOONRISE/COUNTY ROUTE 11
DAD'S DRAWING/OPEN WINDOW (LILLIES, ETC, ON THE SILL)