b i o g r a p h y

A biography is a difficult thing; I seen to have led such an uneventful life. I had a quiet unassuming childhood (with a predilection for art) in rural Ohio and it was not until the summer after my junior year of high school that a transformation occurred. I was geared to become a veterinarian until I participated in a summer theater program organized by a local university. The meeting of (to me ) worldly exotic theater majors prompted me the next year to unexpectedly enter the field of art.

University----the freedom to stay up all night painting and interaction with other artists-to-be----was an exhilarating experience for me. But inevitably came the post-college crisis of what it means to be an artist outside of the controlled university environment. This led me to many places and finally landed me in 1988 in Morocco with the Peace Corps.

I did not automatically begin painting but suffered the conflict of a very different historical and economic perception of what art is than Moroccans have. I could not bring myself to indulge in "superfluous" painting while living in a village of subsistence farmers.

I did not begin painting until I was evacuated during the Gulf War. I was undergoing reverse cultureshock and for some reason I still can not figure out, I began painting about Morocco.

I returned to Morocco for another 18 months of Peace Corps service and have remained. Two years ago I moved from the rural village where I continued to live even after I had finished with the Peace Corps and moved to Tangier. I would like to split my time between Morocco and the United States. Although I have been given opportunities and experiences that I would have never received in the United States, I would like more contact with other artists and ideas to help my art to evolve.

Thank you.

Stacy Elko