TEDx talk about using street art to challenge the status quo.



I grew up in a family of educators and spent time living in Massachusetts, Texas, Wyoming and Upstate New York. Growing up in different parts of the country exposed me to the divergent cultures and peoples that makeup the so-called United States. I credit my early years in the conservative hotbed of Amarillo, Texas with forging my outlook and understanding of the world as a reaction to the inequality and racism I witnessed there. The diverse communities I encountered growing up inspired an interest in understanding how we as humans understand or misunderstand each other and led me to study cultural anthropology in College. I spent two seasons working as an archeological field technician before moving to New York City for graduate school where I studied under Prof. Jack Salzman. During graduate school I worked at cultural institutions in New York and I continue to do cultural work now. I also spent two years teaching English in rural Mongolia and have previously worked as a barista and bagel baker.  My writing on culture and art has been published by the Smithsonian Institution and Hyperallergic among others. 
I have no formal artistic training beyond an analog photo course and a drawing course as an undergrad. I enjoy looking at works by artists and trying to figure out how techniques are accomplished. I am interested in a variety of mediums but I most often work with multi-layered stencils, linoleum cuts, acrylic painting and digital illustrations. Much of my creative content is related to my 9-5 work in history and anthropology. I often wheatpaste my work in public on abandoned or vacant buildings. I enjoy putting my work up in the street because it allows me to operate outside of the  confines of the mainstream art world. This allows me to speak to social issues freely and engage with an audience where they are. It is my hope that my work can confront social issues and provide comfort and solidarity for people who are overlooked.