Growing up in the blue-collar town of Fort Dodge, IA, I was surrounded by hard work. Gypsum mills, Limestone quarries, meat packing plants and trucking companies provided the majority of jobs in town. Like many Midwestern towns, there was no shortage of strong willed, physical folks with impeccable work ethic to fill those jobs. The town depended upon factory work and the workers depended on each other. Many in my family were displaced when Hormel closed its Fort Dodge plant in the 1980’s and, more recently, when Electrolux decided to move their Iowa operation to a facility in Mexico.
My MFA Thesis art work focused on the fragility and the invisibility of those who do service jobs daily. I attempt to elevate the ghostly memories of the character of people who raised me and who, I feel, deserve our unending reverence.