Choreographer; Composer; Dancer; Filmmaker; Musician; Singer; Storyteller; Writer
Since childhood, I’ve served as an apprentice to my mother and aunt, both artists, art teachers, arts and culture advocates. As a teenager, I donned the mask and costume of the Lincoln Imp, giving life to the gargoyle like fundraising mascot helping raise the capital funds needed to transition the local Historical Society to a regional museum. I spent the rest of my teens and 20’s learning the art and science of archaeological illustration, investigation, analysis, public education and outreach by balancing an entry level career at the Royal Ontario Museum with a fully funded academic scholarship to one of Canada’s premier research institutions, York University, both in Toronto.
When I wasn’t at school or work, I was helping my aunt launch her career as an artist, seting up and staffing exhibition and sales booths at juried shows such as Toronto Outdoor Art and Washington Square Art in NYC. In between those responsibilities, I worked as a research assistant to Dr. Elizabeth Graham, a well known Mesoamerican archaeologist. During my tenure as an undergrad, I was also keenly aware of the social environment, having just returned to Canada after a childhood mostly spent in Broward County, Florida. There were many things happening, especially during my initial return during the summer of 1990. In Canada, that was the summer of Oka… the summer the Canadian government brought tanks and guns to the Native Canadian reserve of Akwesasne, Mohawk Territory. Soon after, the sesquicentennial of the “discovery” of the Americas began. 1992 brought a host of discussions, deliberations, workshops and yes, celebrations to the streets of Toronto. This is the year that I learned that Native People in Canada are related to me as a descendant of the Indigenous people of Mesoamerica. Up to that point, I just thought of us all as seperate. But I knew enough about geography and archaeology to know that Columbus landed in my part of the continent. That began a course of study in ethnography that resulted in my pursuit of traditional knowledge production continuing through today.
In 2012, my family and I helped in the creation and launch of the world’s largest travelling exhibit of Maya art and artifacts, now in it’s seventh city, currently on view at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
I remain… To teach and learn our stories… To move into the future as human beings… To never forget who we are…