Born in New Mexico in 1979, Joel grew up in Albuquerque’s South Valley where his early interest in the arts was nurtured by a neighbor who happened to be a classically trained artist. Seeing public art as a vehicle for personal expression, Joel’s secondary artistic motivation came from observing graffiti in his neighborhood. After dabbling with various artistic forms while growing up, Joel had the great fortune of being mentored by Raku master Fred Wilson and sculptor O.K. Harris. These interactions had a tremendous influence on Joel’s future direction. Joel plans to expand the scope of his art, creating large-scale sculptures and mosaic murals for public display.
As Joel began a career in construction, he realized the vast artistic potential of discarded construction materials. Joel began to recycle supplies such as tile, stone, steel, trash, and reclaimed wood. He finds that often the found object suggests the finished piece, allowing the materials that others have discarded to serve a new purpose. Approximately 75% of the materials he uses are recycled.
Joel has a diverse body of work covering everything from beauty and whimsy in everyday objects to statement pieces touching on social, political, and environmental issues. One recurring theme in Joel’s work is the duality that occurs within nature and society. He feels that everything we perceive and interact with contains opposing truths. He attempts to create work that shows compassion and alternative perspectives.