I believe telling someone's story elevates it to importance by the act of focusing the audience's attention upon it. My work strives to tell stories of ordinary people as though they were icons of the dominant culture.

In my collage portraiture, I paint over photocopies of relatives and copyright-free vintage images, then layer elements to tell the stories I imagine for each subject. My materials include acrylics, fine art papers and ephemera, each element selected to advance the narrative.

In my assemblage work, I use repurposed cigar boxes as my substrates because I am fascinated by their history of being used to hold personal treasures and secrets. They are like small caves: sheltering, intimate, yet potentially claustrophobic without a source of light. I house the stories I tell within my caves with layers of textured paper, color and vintage imagery.

I see layers of memory and emotion within people like layers of an archaeological dig: compacted below the faces we know, supported and shaped by the strata of ancestors and experiences only half-remembered. But like ancient cities which survive into the modern era, fragments of these subsumed layers may still surface in daily life at unexpected moments.