Full Artist's statement
My work explores the influences that continually form and re-form culture in the United States. Raised in a middle-class, suburban, Midwestern community, I developed the impression that culture was something one could try on and perhaps adopt, rather than something inborn. I am therefore fascinated by the histories and peculiarities of "American" traditions. My light boxes depict celebrations and interactions, rituals that have formed from the mingling of our various ethnic and religious backgrounds. Some of these traditions are those I have experienced personally, and others draw from first-hand observation, documentary photographs, research, or a combination.
My primary medium, paper-cutting, embodies this idea of cultural fluidity. The craft has traveled from China, to the Middle East, to Spain, to Mexico, to the US, as well as through various other channels. Beyond its symbolic significance, I am drawn to the medium due to its tantalizing balance of simplicity and complexity: simple because an image can consist of nothing more than a piece of paper, complex because that paper can be cut as finely as lace.