Undergraduate Research

"Shades of Blue",  Artist Presentation at Old Dominion University's 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium 

Presentation of Independent Study combining fibers and ceramic material. "My current ceramic work explores traditional ways of making that is informed by personal and cultural anecdotes relevant to my own narrative within our current times. I seek to explore the combination of traditionally “craft” mediums such as ceramics and fibers with qualities of “Fine” art such as drawing and painting. My goal is to create a visual language influenced by ephemeral thoughts and feelings while grounding them in form through sculpting and materializing. Methods such as research, journaling, sketching, drawing, sewing, painting, forming, carving, and firing are all included in the process of creating these works. Each work embodies a line of thought that has been inspired by the history of the material juxtaposed with the contemporary atmosphere of my present narrative. Outcomes of the work vary from journal like-explorations that challenge my own ideas of what is conceptually worthy of being considered important, artistic, or relevant. My research within traditionally craft materials combined with my art education background also leads me to explore the parameters of artistic “success”, “high-art”, and cultural ideals of artistic standards."

Presentation of Visual Research Project: "Food, Shelter, Water: An Arts Based Investigation" at ODU's 2022 Arts In The Libraries Digital Festival.


"This presentation highlights 3 artistic research projects created by students enrolled in ARTS495 - Arts for Social Justice, a special topics studio art class offered in the Fall of 2021, led by Dr. Natalia Pilato. Each student researched using books, scholarly articles, and news media from Hofheimer Art library on their topics. Students were then split into 3 groups and collaborated to create large, collaged art pieces to represent their research findings, which were displayed in Perry library and the Barry arts building rotunda."


 Presentation of, "The House of Colors" at ODU's 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium 

Presentation of a collaborative tile-mural project that Professor of Ceramics, Richard Nickel and myself created with the ODU ceramic students. This proposal received a research grant for the semester's theme of Social Justice. This mural is reflective of internal dialog that answers questions of: what do you envision for the future? And what would we like to offer our community? Answers to these questions were prompted by a selection of poems and artwork shown to students by Professor Nickels and myself. These individuals tiles were carved and painted by various students, which together to form a home. Process included: labeling and organizing tiles, cutting slabs, maintaining surfaces, and re-organizing individual pieces to be places back together.

Leather Hard, A Journal

Leather Hard is a ceramics term that describes a time when the clay is in a particular state of being, “Hard to bend yet soft enough to be carved”. When I think of the paradigms in place at larger institutions (the accessibility to art and education,) I particularly view this as “leather hard”. The term also speaks to the strength and perseverance of Black people’s creative endeavors. The firmness required to endure various struggles but also the ability to remain soft, adaptable, and hopeful for change. This journal explores my first inclination towards pondering ideas of inequities in the arts, education, our visual culture, and our cultural narrative.  


Willing Vessels, Research and Installation

Willing Vessels- Ceramics as a Vehicle for Social Justice


A vessel can be seen as a container for holding something or as a person into whom some

amount of quality can be contained (or shared from). The function of a vessel varies; whether as a elaborate decorative treasure or functional practical tool, it is used for containing or sharing, as a conversation or a contribution. Vessels may be used to fill the cups of others, or to be poured into. The potential of these willing vessels mirrors our own potential as members of society. The value of a vessel As an artist, I am currently interested in what it means to do work from a source of social practice. While my artistic creations are just beginning to explore their functionality and usefulness to groups of people, the act of sharing is inherent to the tradition of ceramics. Having been created across nations for centuries of time, humankind has created ceramic instruments with the potential to be filled, to tell stories, or to be of service. With our current urgencies in mind, I find it extremely fitting that we explore both the utility and the emotional connections evident in giving and making. ceramic art.