My career path has been one of unexpected twists and turns.  After graduating from Carleton College I headed to New York City to complete an MFA in painting and drawing from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.  I was certain I wanted to teach painting while producing my own art work.  While completing my MFA degree I worked as graduate assistant in Pratt’s Art History Department to help pay the tuition bills.  There I graded papers, pulled slides (the olden days of Art History classes) and was offered a number of lectures in areas I had researched extensively—Modern Art, History of Drawing and Printmaking, and American Art.  I loved this experience and developed a true passion for teaching both in the practice and history of art. 

After Pratt I showed my work around the NYC area in group shows and several three-person shows.  To pay the rent I worked in the museum world and banking industry.  I managed to save some money for a graduate degree in Art History.  The City University of New York programs at Hunter College and the Graduate Center provided me the opportunity to complete an MA and PhD in Modern Art and American Art with a minor in Asian Art.  While at the Graduate Center I secured two adjunct posts–one at the School of Visual Arts and the other back at Pratt Institute.  At both these institutions I taught History of Illustration, History of Graphic Design, Modern Art, American Art and general survey classes.  After graduation I continued teaching and landed a position at the Pierpont Morgan Library in Manhattan in their Drawings Department for the academic quarterly, Master Drawings.  I balanced teaching, museum work and editorial endeavors for nearly ten years.

But life moves on and when my daughter was born I stepped out of my career to spend time with her.  Unfortunately my mother also needed prolonged care in order to deal with her fight with cancer.  It was necessary to be close to home and have flexible hours so I opened the Brooklyn Art and Learning Lab in my English basement of my townhouse in Brooklyn.  It is with this venture that I feel my career took a dramatic twist that I could never have predicted.  I offered for elementary to high school students, classes in reading, writing, basic science and math which involved a visual approach and included numerous hands on studio projects.  My classes have had such titles as “Puppets, Plays and Poetry,” “Drawing to Read and Write” and “Sculpting through Physics.” I designed my classes for young mind explorations.   My visual method of teaching almost any subject was a great success and families started to seek out my help to work one on one with children who struggled at school.  What I stumbled upon was a visual approach helped children who suffer from learning disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyslexia, Expressive and Receptive Language Disorder, and Pragmatic Language Disorder. The students were eager to learn, but the educational system had failed to really provide the type of education they required—hands on and a very visual way of learning.  I found myself reading neurology, psychology and communication science texts to better understand the children I was trying to help.  

My experiences and the books I was reading prompted me to investigate a new path of formal education for myself –another master’s degree, but this one had to be along the lines of special education.  So at present I find myself as a middle aged woman, back in graduate school about to complete a third master’s degree– in Communication Science and Disorders.  This master’s will provide the means to become a Speech- Language Pathologist.  As a clinician, I will better serve the learning needs of the children in my local community in Brooklyn.  At the heart of my pursuits is what I learn from my art and art history classes all those years ago at Carleton, the value of a visual, hands-on approach to education. You may wonder: do I still find time to paint or draw?  Currently I am producing a series in pastel of endangered prairie flowers.