the suburban artist

I grew up in the suburbs of Boston. My suburbian experience as a child of educated parents has shaped my interests and experiences profoundly. And so, suburbia has affected my art.

And it continues to do so.

I live in a town much the same size as the one in which I grew up. The biggest difference is that it's surrounded by rural country. So the "city" has the same feel to me as my suburban upbringing, but with fewer sidewalks, less density, and less traffic.

And here I am, a mother of three, toting her kids around, minding her domestic business in what feels to me like a suburb.

The word "suburb" is often used to indicate something ill-designed, purely made for comfort, and insulated. It represents an aspirational lifestyle and closed-off sort of idealism.

And when we call art "suburban," what we usually mean is "boring."

But I hardly find the suburbs "boring." And art falls outside the politically charged, shocking or subversive is also not "boring." That certainly can be one of the purposes of art, but that is not often my aim.


Great art can come out of anywhere -- suburbs, cities, and country towns. And art can serve many purposes. There's room for the suburban in artmaking.