I am a disabled veteran artist, based in Traverse City, Michigan. I create art and keep honeybees as non-traditional therapy for trauma I acquired during enlistment. I also work with other veterans to find ways to incorporate both into their own lives and healing journeys. The sculpture, "Bee Happy", represents efforts to help bring awareness to art and agriculture as effective therapies for challenges such PTSD, emotional trauma, and reintegration (often experienced by veterans returning to civilian life), and continued spotlighting of the plight and decline of pollinators due to mismanagement, pesticide use, pollution, habitat loss and GMO food sourcing. As an artist and keeper of bees, both allow me to focus in the 'now', to be fully present, and an active participant in my own healing process. Both foster a centeredness that creates a healing and meditation space that is more effectively personal and powerful. My goals include sharing these gifts and supporting my fellow veterans in creating their own path to healing through art and agriculture.
"Bee Happy!" is a mixed-media sculpture; a year-long project that was finished in 2021. All elements of the artwork have been turned, carved, steam-bent, and/or embellished with resin, polymer clay, acrylics, inks, waxes and pyrography.