2. What influenced you during your formative years?

By the time I came to BU, I was really entranced by Henry Moore. Everything he did just amazed me. I loved the feel of his work and the thought of touching his work. I didn't see a lot of Moore sculptures but I saw enough to know that I loved them and I always had a dream to work in his studio you know and just kind of scrape up the plaster off the floor because he was my idol. But I never did do that. And then as I learned more and more about art, and about Black art in particular, the sixties were a pretty volatile time and lot of people were doing art work that was highly politically charged Black art. So I became involved in that sort of effort. I was very headstrong about what I would create in art school because I was so political and it was so important to me to express myself as a black woman. At BU everyone who is a junior sculpture major is supposed to do a life size sculpture and the model was white and the pose that they chose was to me a very insipid pose. It was one of these hands on the hip, arm extended for no particular reason, you know a kind of classical pose but for me it just didn't work and I felt you know if I spend a year on a life size sculpture it's going to A: be a black woman and B: she's going to be in some pose that I relate to. So my teacher was Lloyd Lilly at the time and he was fabulous. He knew how I was and he allowed me to get my own model and to have people model for me at different times, after school. He said just go for it you know, do it. So I ended up doing a model with a big fro and she's kind of this very sassy attitude, hip thrust out and arms above her head like this and that worked for me, I loved it. And that sculpture is in my parents den at this point. I was also encouraged and supported by John Wilson during my years at Boston University. He is a brilliant sculptor and his work has been very inspiring to me.