"My nonprofit and public sector organizational work led me to use my artistic skills to engage people in nontraditional hands-on learning, grassroots community building and creative placemaking projects.
It started in 2001, when I switched career paths from fine art to org management work. I founded a nonprofit, organized a Provo River cleanup & curated an exhibit at ArtAccess called "Utah Environment: Opening a Dialogue", featuring 25 Utah artists and photographers. At the same time I had my first daughter, I read the Richard Louv Book, Last Child in the Woods and began focusing my creative, organizational and teaching skills toward engaging kids outside in the pursuit of wonder and awe."In 2008, I taught K-6 art at Dilworth Elementary in SLC. I learned how to work with kids, and was actually inspired by them to begin making large public murals. I worked with students in Uganda, Cambodia, Nepal, Moab, and across Salt Lake Valley on murals and placemaking projects.
I worked with Tracy Aviary and Sorenson Unity Center to create to backyard "ArtParks" that included local youth participation on creating the spaces. After facilitating projects at the Unity Center, I was hired by Salt Lake City to direct the Center with a goal of increasing arts and community programming on the City's west side. We wrote and won an NEA: Our Town grant designed to activate key nodes of the newly-released Westside Master Plan with community arts projects. We also expanded arts, education, entrepreneurship, health and community-engagement programs with 80+ nonprofit partners we were supporting at the time..
When I left the city, I focused five years on rebuilding my professional artist career, although my creative work veered more and more into wildlife-related themes. With the Bonnie Ball event in October '22, I stepped back into community art projects. Most of my community art practice today is dedicated to the Utah Wildlife Walls project, with plans for 29+ murals, community events, and a constellation of nonprofit partners engaging locals across the state with arts, science, and education programs aimed at celebrating Utah's wildlife heritage and diversity. " -cp