13 imagesARTIST STATEMENT & BIOGRAPHY I have been a photographer since I was 18 years old. Being out there and shooting is very interesting at times, and keeps me humble and grounded. I get especially excited when I get to photograph unique species of geese, like the blue snow goose. One of my biggest artistic influences is Edward Sheriff Curtis. I admire his adventurous spirit, and how he traveled across the United State to photograph Native Americans and various tribes of Eskimo. I am inspired by the natural world, and, through my photography, I hope to reflect the beauty and depth in the life of plants and animals, which often go overlooked in our daily lives. Through exhibiting my photographs, I wish to show that people with a mental illness are able to contribute to the community as much anyone else. I hope to inspire others who live with mental illness. I was born in Mason, West Virginia, and grew up in Carpenter, Ohio. I have been in and out of Athens my whole life, and moved here in 1988 to be among family and friends. I graduated from Alexander High School in 1981. Afterward, I bought a pocket 110 camera and quickly fell in love with nature photography. I joined the Athens Photographic Project in the spring of 2008, and quickly grew to enjoy the learning atmosphere and the people in my class. My photographs have been part of four VSA Ohio exhibitions and five juried APP exhibitions. I have completed five years of advanced digital photography with the APP, and returned to film classes in 2012, when I also became a teaching assistant/student mentor.