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Everyday People

March 1, 2019–Aug. 11, 2019  |  Pauley Center Galleries, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Everyday People takes an honest look at the highs and lows of what it means to really be human. We are at a time in history when anxiety, depression, uncertainty, and simply being uncomfortable are no longer characteristics that need to be kept out of the public arena. Honesty holds so much more value than it used to. Read More

In an effort to connect more with everyone, I wanted to create a space where we could use the work as a springboard for a dialogue to bigger topics and questions by giving a little more insight into some of the thoughts and inspiration behind the work. Listening to music is a large part of my process as well as just being a reflection of my overall mood and inspiration. I created a playlist of songs to go a long with each piece. These works were either songs I was influenced by while I was working on the corresponding piece or heard afterwards and felt it very much represented what I was thinking about while working. Please enjoy the soundtrack and view the works, either here or in person, and celebrate your everyday, every day. (Warning: the following songs contain explicit content)

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Acrylic on board

The conversation is no longer just about everyone getting along. Nobody is one-dimensional. People still have worth at their lows the same way they have worth at their highs. Being "normal" is a construct created so that differences didn't have to be addressed. We're addressing them now and it's a wonderful thing.

It's a little on the nose, but the song by the same name from Sly and the Family Stone embodies the energy of celebrating both this piece and this body of work.



Back-up Plan, 2019
Acrylic on board

Going after what you want in life is important. I feel like the idea of a "plan B" is an antiquated notion and that nowadays a younger generation embraces the act of trying something new again and again. Still, this lingering feeling of having to prove to the rest of the world that you are taking a precautionary measure hangs around like a life saver on a boat—completely useless should it ever be needed yet calming to everyone on the ship knowing it's there.

Adele's "Chasing Pavements" speaks of following true love as a constant pursuit despite the possibility of it not working out. When was the last time you felt guilty of not going after a dream just to satisfy someone else?



Get Rich or Die Voting, 2015
Acrylic on board

Trying to make a difference can sometimes feel more like a curse than a blessing. On one hand the struggle is empowering and honest. On the other hand, it is humbling and paralyzing. It's an ongoing struggle.

"21st Century Breakdown" by Green Day puts into lyrics and energy that scattered mindset of being frustrated by a system that is supposed to be made for one thing but seems to benefit another. Have you ever felt like you were being defeated by something you were told you needed to be a part of?



Thank You for Nothing, 2018
Acrylic on canvas

I have always believed in the idea of never burning a bridge because I never know when I will come full circle with someone. That doesn't mean, however, I don't get frustrated when I feel wronged or slighted. Proving people wrong and having a chip on my shoulder has given me the opportunity to harness negative energy into something productive.

Future's "Where Ya At" isn't eloquent but it is blunt. I am grateful for being given the benefit of the doubt, but the doubts are pretty great, too. 



Yeah, No, 2018
Acrylic on canvas

I feel like one of my greatest strengths has always been to be an observer of things. People ask what inspires me and I often disappoint them because to say "everything" is not exciting. The truth is being able to notice the mundane or the things that seemingly blend into everyday life and ask why or why not is how change is made. There is a lot of comfort in accepting things and just letting them be. The uncomfortable part happens when you put a mirror up to it.

"The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World makes me feel like an anthem to something bigger. Its poppy, upbeat sound and its message of believing in yourself amongst the crowd not only motivates me to do what I want to do but to feel good about it as well.



Sure, 2019
Acrylic on board

I've always worked well with others but I haven't always liked doing it. I have worked really hard to open up to collaborating and have learned to get excited about the possibilities that can arise when you're working with someone else and letting their ideas or influence help drive the project just as much as yours. Saying yes to this part of my life has proven worth it.

"Feels" by Calvin Harris brings out that notion of letting something take you over and having fun with it, even if it is something you were maybe skeptical of before. When was the last time you said yes to something that you usually wouldn't try?



Oh, Ok, 2019
Acrylic on board

What's the difference between being cocky and being confident? As a creative I struggle all the time with balancing my abilities, drive and ambition amongst people who I consider contemporaries as well as people who I've never met. Assert yourself too far and you're annoying. Sit back and see if people praise you for your work and you leave it up to everyone else. I've tried to just continue to do the work I want to do and basically give people the option of loving me or hating me—just don't be indifferent.

"Killshot" by Eminem reminds me of that struggle. Believing so much that you're the best at what you do and wanting people to understand that. In the end, however, the only thing you can do is to try in this moment to do the best thing you've ever done to prove the point you were making before. 



It's OK, 2018
Acrylic on board

Traditionally, putting work out into the world is assumed personal and subjective so if you react negatively you are seen as suppressive or ill-informed. Critiques and reviews are given as a statement of educated fact or gospel. The dialogue about artistic works should evolve to be ongoing.

"Elastic Heart" by Sia pushed me through rejection and connected me to the idea of building up a tolerance while being okay with pushing back.



Almost Monday, 2019
Acrylic on board

Monday is stamped as the worst day of the week. I often joke that even though Friday is great it is one day closer to Monday. What if we looked at it as an opportunity to try again? In all honesty that's what time is. It is unchanging and always happening. The real bummer is the fact that despite being given another chance you are choosing to not make it better. 

Andra Day in "Rise Up" is how I feel about the process—it's hard but it will never stop being hard. So I choose to keep going for myself and for the people who believe in me.



Whatever, 2018
Acrylic on canvas

Quitting is so much easier. Instead, I usually torture myself and try to push through. I have found, however, that I can still be me while waiving the white flag. If I have to get it done then I have to get it done, but since I have to do it I might as well enjoy it while it's happening. Being frustrated and wanting to stop is human. Doing my best is what matters and my best is good enough.

"I Might Need Security" by Chance the Rapper says everything I am thinking in those moments of having to just get it done. Being honest about your frustrations while still proving to everyone who you are allows you to still create something memorable.

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