Our Trees Our Future is a tree planting initiative in Uganda that is changing the nation for the generations. Drought and deforestation are leaving thousands without food and water. Tree planting offers the people an opportunity to build their future and future of their children and children's children. These trees produce, food, employment and firewood for each family that plants them and beyond that can rebuild the environment to bring the rain and water that is so desperately needed. Potential victims of human trafficking have a new chance at freedom through the jobs that are provided. Our Trees Our Future is a strategic tree planting movement that works in partnership with schools, farmer groups, community groups, women's groups, environmental groups, corporations, non-government organizations, government agencies, religious groups & many others to help alleviate poverty, create long sustainability and promote environmental stewardship. They believe in "simple sustainable solutions for complex problems". Strategic tree planting is a simple solution for the benefit of people and planet. Join the movement!
The cause that my artwork stands for is breaking the stigma of mental illness. I want to promote awareness and conversation around mental illness, but not in a glorified or sugar coated fashion. Mental illness such as anxiety and depression are real disorders that many people deal with, but because of societal and cultural norms we are taught to be silent. We put on a mask to hide our darker truths. Above The Stigma, the nonprofit that I choose to support, has a mission of de-stigmatizing mental health by encouraging open conversations about mental disorders and traumas. Our purpose is to educate, inform, and support those with mental struggles. To let them know that “it’s okay to not be okay” and that they are not alone. The piece I am presenting is called Masked. It is made from sand casted glass. The front is frosted and blurred, but when the viewer observes the piece up closer, you will realize that there are copper inserts within the head. These intertwined and tangled wires represent different mental illnesses. I wanted to make the connection that to get to know someone more and have these deeper conversations you need to take a closer look and take the time to ask them how they are really doing.
Doe no. 7 is a portrait from my Doe series, an algorithm’s representation of humans. The Jane and John Doe portraits are anonymous, amorphous machine hallucinations created by a generative machine learning model. I trained the model exclusively on artwork by womxn artists, a frustratingly small fraction of the art world. As a result, the algorithm serves to combat the dominant forces of patriarchy and the portraits feature more womxn. Art history has been dominated by male authorship, and machine learning models perpetuate the biases of the data used to train them. This ethical problem sits at the core of machine learning: when we train models using historical data, how do we counteract the biases embedded in the data? Pushing back against the one-sided current of art history, we create the possibility for new visions. With this series or portraits, I seek to combat and reveals artificial intelligence (AI) biases, demanding that society address the urgent issue of the ethics of AI. Machine learning models perpetuate the biases of the data that is used to train them. I seek to advocate for underrepresented people most likely to be harmed by irresponsible AI, those who history has too often ignored or disenfranchised. The Doe series amplifies and centers our voices, inviting viewers to imagine a world where artificial intelligence is a partner champion for equity and co-liberation.