Route 66 is not just a place; it is a state of mind.
My artwork has always dealt with the theme of Americana and the open road, specifically the great old highways, such as Route 66. As the first trans highway, it was developed to link the Midwest with the west coast. It was begun in the early 20th century to improve road conditions for farmers to transport their products to market and for an emerging auto tourism industry. It was the main highway for the great Dust Bowl migration of the 1920’s becoming known as “The Mother Road”. These old roads are celebrations of the American zeal for exploration, expansion and opportunity.
This body of work is about being on the move. The western migration is at the heart and soul of our American psyche, culture and history. It is influenced by the iconic Southwestern landscape and the roadside attractions both past and present. I regularly return to cruise the highway. In this way, I have also become part of the road‘s nomadic residents.
Photorealistic graphite renderings are developed from site sketches and photographs; which are evocative of the sense of place and of the local industry. The images are combined with maps, a metaphor for the journey, and found objects from the area. Some of the maps used in the series are traditional street maps while others are star charts. The multi-dimensional elements form a complex layer with the rendered images. Within a discreet, unified space they provide an editorial, or narrative component and are a means to engage the viewer.