|4. Did you focus mainly on Black artists for influence?|
No, I was always very interested in classical art and that's why I went to BU. I wanted to be able to create art in the Michelangelo tradition, in the Rodin tradition. I fell in love with Rodin when I went to France and studied sculpture and of his work, my absolute favorite was The The Berghers of Calais. The hands, the strength in those hands and in the faces of the men, the positioning of the characters, of the figures together, the feet, everything about his work just carried such emotion and such strength. I was enthralled with the famous Greek sculpture, “Nike” or “The Winged Samothrace” and Michaelangelo's “Pieta.” I wanted to work like that, only I wanted to do it from a black cultural standpoint. So my work and my understanding of my expression has always been a mixture of cultures. I guess that's natural, because I am a mixture of cultures, but I consider myself to be , first and foremost, a black woman and I seek to create from that point of view.
I see myself as an educator through my sculpture and I am always trying to bring forth what is missing in American sculpture and to pay homage to the people who have not been acknowledged. If you talk to most black students or kids who are in maybe high school and ask them what they think of public sculpture, most of them have never even noticed any. They say, "What is that? What are you talking about?" And there's a reason for that. Because they don't see themselves. So if you see a billion different bronzes of white people or white men on horseback in a uniform because they killed someone in some war, and you do not relate to that at all, this is not of your experience, you don't even see it. So for these kids, my goal is to say “look, there you are!” and this is why it's important for me to work figuratively, because I want them to be able to see themselves and say "Oh aren't we beautiful!" and take it from there! And that's not to say that I don't have abstract thoughts or desires to do abstract work because I do. It's another form of expression. But I also find abstract expression within the figure, design, creation, form, content. All of that happens within the figure. It can happen, it doesn't always happen.