The Rough Childhood body of work stems from my 4+ years of teaching art at Richard J. Donovan Men’s Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa. In early 2015 our program participants were asked to create metaphorical self portraits. Some balked at the idea of such intimate introspection, while others immediately embraced the opportunity to tell their stories. I learned, through their work, of unimaginable childhood physical and psychological trauma. Thematic patterns of betrayal, abandonment, neglect, and cruelty emerged.

Through these horses I convey the treachery of false promises and the grief of unrealized dreams.