I grew up in a family of artists. My grandfather was an Ashcan and WPA painter in New York City, and my dad was a creative writer and painter, too. I was tapped into my family's creative energy and went on to study for a bachelors in art education, followed by a masters in art history at NYU, and finally, a doctorate in art education at Columbia University Teachers College.
I spent much of the past three decades in leadership positions in museums including from 2002-23 as the Founding Director of Education and Curator of Kidspace at the nation’s largest contemporary arts center, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA. I have curated 30 exhibitions with world renowned artists and developed community partnership programs exploring social justice, compassion, and socio-emotional learning.
When I first started at MASS MoCA, I was also working on making a family with my husband. I was going through IVF treatments and found the stress of the procedures while working full time overwhelming. It was then that I ratcheted up my interest in yoga, acupuncture, and meditation. I would meditate often and make art that expressed everything from my ovulation cycle to how I felt when we found out the treatment failed. Meditation and art helped me to process, and heal.
So where from there?
I continued to practice and went on to include an arts-integrated mindfulness approach to my work as an academic and educator. To this day, I teach classes & workshops for college students at Williams College, UMass Darmouth, and MCLA. I conduct professional development for teachers and museum educators, and more broadly for artists, adults, children, and families at museums, community centers, yoga studios, and schools.
I have published numerous articles on the topic of art and mindfulness. I have presented workshops for national art education associations and for international museums and arts organizations on the topics of care, creativity, and social justice. Also I am the co-director of the CARE SYLLABUS, an online humanities based resource.
I have added to my credentials a 200hr certificate in Meditation Teaching from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I offer “Mindful Creativity” workshops at the Kripalu 3 - 4 times a month. I also teach meditation at Berkshire Yoga, Dance, and Fitness.My personal yoga practice is in Kundalini and Hatha yoga. I have participated in mindfulness training with: John Tarrant; Pema Chodron; Joan Sutherland; Sylvia Boorenstein; the alai Lama; Jon Kabot Zinn; the late Thich Nhat Hanh, and Melissa Lorusso.
I practice what I preach in my personal abstract expressionist oil paintings, and have shown my work most recently as part of an arts education alumni exhibition at Columbia University Teachers College.