BIOGRAPHY

I was a child of WW II and spent my post war childhood going to the seashore and sailing on the weekends along The Westeinder Plas in Kudelstaart, The Netherlands. Wreath of daisies in my hair, my early memories are of the wonderful smell of the lake, the sea, the colors of the shells washed up on the shore, and the distinct textures of ropes in my hands.
My teenage years in the 1950’s were focused on art and music. My days were filled with classical piano lessons from Conservatorium teacher Tijakien Bennes and art classes with Dutch artist Theo Bennes. Mr. Bennes introduced me to jazz, ancient and modern art, and Zen Buddhism.
In the early 1960’s I lived in the West Village full of vibrant Beatnik art and poetic rebellion. In 1963, when my husband Langdon Gilkey and I moved to Chicago, a continual creative love affair began with the uniquely American experience of Chicago blues and Street Art. On our way to blues bars, we were often pulled over and then escorted by police at their insistence. We listened to blues legends like Sunny Land Slim, Junior Walker, Mama Yancey and Blind Joe Davis. Later piano lessons from blues legend Erwin Helfer added to the joyful, defining, and powerful experience.
In the late 1960’s through the mid 1970’s, I studied under COBRA artist Cosmo Compoli at the Contemporary Art Workshop. In the 1970’s and 1980’s my experimentation with modern materials and symbols reached deep into the heart and soul of Maxwell Street on the South Side of Chicago.
This immersion produced art with materials reflecting the social and racial tensions of the modern American city. Shockingly alive glitter art was created from materials found on the streets of Chicago. As Curator, these arts works were featured in the groundbreaking exhibits with COBRA artist Cosmo Compoli called Spumoni Village and later at a celebrated exhibition in Amsterdam.
Throughout this period, I continued my artistic collaboration, co-curating, and work with COBRA artist Cosmo Compoli. My interest deepened to include the post-modern punk movement, the music of performance artists like DEVO, and travels to the South West to experience and work with Outsider Art.
Spiritual pilgrimages to New Mexico and personal encounters with the Zuni Tribe and their ceremonial dance, chanting, and use of symbolic feathers, have all deeply influenced my materials, messages, and soul.
The  mountains of New Mexico and the experience of White Tantric and Kundalini Yoga provide a deep emotional core. This is an important source of spiritual and artistic inspiration. I am a certified Kundalini Yoga Master Teacher as taught by Yogi Bhajan and have practiced Kundalini yoga since 1974.
In the 1970s I advocated for women’s rights in the art world. I pushed, with the assistance of key leaders at The University of Chicago, for greater inclusion (inclusion) of women into The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I then taught 3D Design and Abnormal Psychology at Columbia College in Chicago. In 1975 my family and I lived in Kyoto, Japan. The Buddha, tea ceremony, tranquility and beauty of the Temples and Zen gardens, are all a part of my artistic approach and symbols.
These experiences and integral involvement with the changing artistic and social movements of the past half-century continue with me today in my atelier along the coast of Maine. In Maine the deep power of the sea and the rhythmic rituals of the fishermen surround my friends the seagulls and me.
I have been, and continue to be, a witness, active participant, and positive impact artist in the ebb and flow over our era of artistic movements, environmental and political causes, and resulting social changes.

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