Personal Statement

by Tee A. Corinne

I was born in and grew up in Florida, USA (b. 11/3/43), and spent time in North Carolina and the Bahama Islands. My earliest memories are of drawing and making things with my hands. My mother was an artist who taught me how to mix primary colors to get secondary ones, how to wrap and bend wires, tie knots, use one- and two-point perspective.

Visual art is a language with which I respond to and reflect upon my life. I have seldom succeeded in keeping a diary, but I have almost always carried a drawing pad and, since my eighth year, I have also had a camera.

Growing up, I took every art class that I could. Graduating, I won the high school Art Award and the National Journalism Award. I always thought that if I couldn't succeed as an artist, I could always write. Now I do both.

Beginning college at Newcomb Art School in New Orleans, I completed my B.A. in printmaking and painting (with minors in English and history) at the University of South Florida (1965). In 1966 I married my best friend and, two years later, completed my M.F.A. in drawing and sculpture at Pratt Institute in 1968. Summers I ran an art program for teenagers,

I taught drawing, design and art history at the Greater Hartford Community College, 1969-70 and worked with the Wesleyan Potters, later lived in the Adirondacks, then back-packed in Europe and taught in a "free school" in Florida. It was the early 1970s and the beginning of the back-to-the land movement. I was interested in communal living, was searching for something, but was also sliding into a suicidal depression.

I quit making art and started looking hard at my life. We went to San Francisco and I found therapists: Bob Goulding, who understood when I said I was spending too much energy just trying to stay alive, and Mary Goulding who understood the artist in me.

My husband and I separated and I joined the women's movement, came out, and slowly allowed the artist in me to re-emerge. I lived in San Francisco and later in New York, worked in sex education and book production, taught photography, made publicity pictures of small press authors and more personal images of women's bodies. In the early 1980s, I moved to a rural area where lower maintenance costs and fewer distractions free my time to make art. Much of my work from the 1980s is autobiographical, often about growing up in an alcoholic family or being molested as a child. During this period I started writing essays and fiction.

Attending the annual conferences of the Women's Caucus for Art (office in Philadelphia) and the College Art Association (office in New York City) have kept me connected to the larger art world.

The 1990s has been a time of integration and consolidation which, to me, fits the middle years of my life. Early in 1995 I started work on a new series of body studies, Goddesses for the New Millennium, and find my thoughts reaching out more toward the future than the past.