As I worked with Julia Vitarello to create a memorial to her daughter, Mila. I was honored to get to know this brave little girl and her family after she passed.
The intention to have the sculpture at the Chautauqua Park playground in Boulder, CO was significant because it was where Mila used to play.
In 2005, 22 Marines and one Navy corpsman were killed in Iraq. As an artist, I felt a calling to respond but had no idea how I could help. A couple months later, I was awakened during the night with a vision of a traveling memorial. After 2 1/2 years, the work was completed and installed in the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda, just as I had seen it in my vision. I worked with the families of the fallen to insure the likeness of each man. The families began to say they felt their sons were still on a mission to serve their brothers, this time on a mission of healing. The memorial now has a full time staff which brings the work all around the country, visiting over 275 venues over the last 13 years. Its mission is to honor the service and sacrifice of all who answer our Nation's call. Silent Battle is my recent addition to the Memorial. The bronze illustrates the struggles many veterans have with post traumatic stress and suicide.You can see more in depth information as well as the touring schedule and how to host the Memorial at EyesofFreedom.org.
The Eyes of Freedom travel the country from Universities to small town festivals and Veteran's event
I began drawing and painting after my 3rd child was born at age 30. As a stay home mom, I wanted to capture the beauty of their childhood. I continued to work at my craft, eventually studying portraiture and plein air painting. I have taught painting and drawing in the US as well as in Greece. All this prepared me for creating what is now known as "The Eyes of Freedom", a traveling military memorial. More information can be found at EyesofFreedom.org
I began my artistic studies with drawing, then moved to oil painting, pastels and watercolor. In 2014 I began to study sculpture which now competes with my love of painting. Stone carving, bronze and ceramics have opened a new path in my artistic journey. I also love plein air painting which deepens my experience of the beauty around me. I have painted across the US and in France, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Denmark and England. Currently, I'm working on a large bear and boy which depicts the joy of imagination and reading.
Having moved to Colorado after spending 30 years in Central Ohio, I am inspired by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. I enjoy painting and hiking, still doing plein air painting, which I equate to fishing...sometimes you come home with something, and sometimes you don't.
January 5, 2023
After installing Mila at Chautauqua park this year in Boulder, I began playing with new ideas. Currently, I'm working on a sculpture of Kathy Sullivan, the astronaut who was the first woman to walk in space as well as going to the deepest sea, the Mariana trench.