I have always had an intense love of art, regardless of its form or fashion. From a very early age, I was drawing, or painting or dancing or collecting. I saw the beauty of composition and color wherever I went. I never actively chose to love art the way I do, in fact, I like to think art chose me. It’s as integral to my survival as are the lungs that keep me breathing or the legs that keep me walking. Throughout my childhood and adolescent, I was a regular in the art room, that is to say, when I wasn’t training 30 hours a week as a gymnast and Olympic hopeful. After a number of debilitating injuries, I had to retire from the sport that had been my life for 14 years. Art carried me through that difficult time, giving me a sense of purpose and a space to be unapologetically myself.
I grew up in New York and attended the University of Michigan with a double major in Art History and Communication Studies. I then attained a master’s degree in psychology at Boston University and was hired to run a Study at Harvard Medical School on borderline personality disorder. The patients were very sick, and I needed a new creative outlet. In addition to painting, I began teaching myself to make jewelry, watching the Fall and Spring runways shows for inspiration. There’s this quality about jewelry. It’s one of the few things, that crosses all cultures. It’s passed down from one generation to the next. It’s an object that has a sense of history, family and culture. The materials that I use, to the depth that I can, are all vintage. I have spent years scouring antique shops, jewelry stores, and of course relatives. I import antique obis (belts for Japanese kimonos) from Japan and have a special connection with a dress-maker’s atelier from the 1930s in Paris.