I grew up in a small Wisconsin town. At family gatherings I heard bits and pieces about relatives fighting at Tarawa, Pearl Harbor, New Guinea and Vietnam. Joining the National Guard at nineteen--I couldn’t resist any longer the need to understand first-hand what being a soldier was really like. At the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire I majored in ceramics. In 2000 I moved to Iowa City, Iowa, to pursue my MFA in ceramics at the University of Iowa. Transferring National Guard units I was re-classed as a combat medic. I was walking to an advanced life drawing class on September 11th, 2001. Halfway through my MFA I was deployed to Iraq with A Co 109th Area Support Medical Battalion and attached to the 101st Airborne (AirAssault) Division as an emergency medicine Non Commissioned Officer.
In addition to treating combat and non-combat patients I found myself running many convoys around Mosul and Northern Iraq without the ceramic plates for my body armor that would actually stop bullets. Returning home was a surreal experience and the transition was rough at times. Returning to graduate school allowed art to capture the overwhelming cultural, mental, and physical experience of Iraq.
I currently live in Bozeman, Montana. I work in a media inclusive manner . I am in the collaborative art group Paintallica and a hang around of the Combat Paper Project.