ARTIST STATEMENT: My artistic research is best described as a social inquiry into class-consciousness. The images are rooted in neoclassical portraiture and in contemporary and historical documentation of the coal mining industry. This body of work, including drawings, prints, and installations, links two disparate worlds; the mining industries of the United States and the sophistication of the 19th century upper classes. Since the Industrial Revolution, the raw production of coal mining and the luxurious consumption of upper-class life have been inextricably intertwined; each world exists because of the other, despite the seeming distance between the two. Demonstrating this interdependency, I place the heads of coal miners on elegant neoclassical figures, and compose my drawings out of grimy coal dust and silvery, shimmering graphite. In these images, I apply the industrial product of coal directly onto the surface of my drawings, and infuse it into my sculptures and installations. By using contrasting images and materials associated with upper class luxury and working class labor, I am seeking to connect the two disparate social strata, blurring the lines between the gritty miner/laborer and the refined consumer. The resultant work is a world somewhere between historical reality and the flight of my imagination.