The Alternative School Years
I graduated from Portland State University in 1999, I was planning to go to graduate school to become an art therapist, but in order to get into the program, I needed to volunteer with a social service non-profit. I found an alternative school in Oregon City serving at-risk teens. I started volunteering 2 days a week for 2 hours a day teaching art. After I graduated I was hired full-time at Crossroads Alternative School. I worked there from 2000-2008. I created and ran my own program from 2008-2013, Hera Community School. In both programs, I created a hands-on art-based curriculum in line with Oregon education benchmarks. During this time I continued to create mosaics and started to sell them at local galleries. I found out there were tools I could use to cut straight lines to cut pieces as needed, later I found out about the glass grinder to smooth edges. The tool upgrade opened up I whole new world. I was lucky to be able to take a master mosaic course with renowned mosaic artist Eric Rattan. This course filled in the gaps in my mosaic knowledge and I gained the technical ability to create outdoor mosaics, bathroom installs, and large-scale wall mosaics.