Artist StatementMy current work explores the articulation and consolidation of forms. Charcoal drawings, silk thread embroidered on linen, and forged steel are linked via a synchronized gesture and then set into motion by an internal mechanism that propels the form to an improvisational conclusion. The gesture is conceived in the act of drawing; its material evolution from charcoal to stitching to steel hints at the fundamental organic processes of growth and decay. The steel sculptures are constructed using traditional forging techniques used by blacksmiths, so all the surfaces and forms are created when the metal is hot. The fabrication of linear steel structures has allowed me to focus on the drawing of three-dimensional forms. Many of them are articulated with springs and hooks so they move and change, casting intricate shadows in the gallery space. Breon Gilleran, Fall 2009
I grew up in Detroit, Michigan and attended Cass Technical High School, an early prototype for a “magnet” schools in the arts. My father and other family members are working artists, and I was encouraged to live in my own world of imagination at a young age. I’m currently pre-occupied by the question, does memory have the power to revive perceptions and stimulate the imagination? I recently acknowledged a memory once lost to me, of a grade school visit to a steel manufacturing plant on the Rouge River in Detroit, Michigan that later drew me to the foundry and the forge. The contradictory emotions of fear and awe-inspired exhilaration riveted my attention, while molten metal transformed into endless ribbons of plate steel beneath us. This distant memory both fuels and energizes my work in forged steel and cast metals, and informs improvisation and experimentation with process while I incorporate detritus and found objects evocative of the Industrial Age. I collect discarded wood patterns used in old sand molds, remaking them as working elements, imbuing the work with nostalgia for a bygone era.
I obtained a nursing degree 1975 and in 1978, and after moving to Baltimore with my future husband received a BFA in painting 1981 from the Maryland Institute College of Art. While raising two children and working part time as a nurse to support my studio practice, I returned to school, completing an MFA in Sculpture at the University of Maryland in 2002.
Recent exhibitions include “Critics Pick, Art Today in Words and Images,” in 2007, curated by Irving Sandler and Eleanor Heartney at Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, Maryland, and two solo exhibitions of her work shown in 2005, Messiah College in Pennsylvania, and the Montpelier Center for the Arts in Bowie MD. I was selected as a semi finalist for the Sondheim Awards, 2010, and Trawick Prize, sponsored by the Bethesda Arts and Promotion, in 2006. I’ve also completed several commissions for the Baltimore Ravens.
Internationally, exhibitions include “Aurora Borealis” an invitational group exhibit at the Beim Handelsmuseum, Bremen, Germany, in 2007 and nationally at the International Sculpture Center, Hamilton NJ, Loveland Museum, Loveland, CO, and Delaware Center for the Arts, Wilmington, DE. My work has been featured in Sculpture Magazine, The Anvils Ring, The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Magazine, City Paper and Bmoreart.blogspot.com. In 2011 I was selected as a fellow at Salem Art Works, in Salem New York.
Currently I serve as an adjunct Assistant Professor of Art and instructor, teaching part time at Goucher College in Baltimore. My studio is in Area 405, in the Station North Arts District.