In my work, I explore identity, knowledge, and power as they relate to human and nonhuman flourishing. I see art, love, and healing as indivisible syntheses (forces of connection), and I think “for” is the most important word in art. Most importantly, I believe art helps us to realize our shared human identity, which is perhaps the most important step in achieving wellbeing on both the scale of the collective and the individual. Art should also breathe hope, beauty, and absurdity into our daily existences, so we may thrive to fight another day.


Email: qcompt.s@gmail.com

*There’s no word for “artist” in Chickasaw, which implies that many of my ancestors did not believe in the concept of a dedicated “meaning-maker.” Instead, I think they believed all humans are capable of creativity, in its many forms, and can each contribute to a flourishing collective according to their abilities and capacities. Conversely, many Western views of an “artist” reduce a complex human into just their creative potential and suggest that only certain, extraordinary people are capable of creation (both of which ironically hamper creativity).

*Western philosophies have also been responsible for separating the “creative” mind from the “analytical” one, and I have seen how this arbitrary compartmentalization can harm society. It restricts many people from bringing their full humanity into classrooms and workplaces, resulting in personal distress and impeding innovation. As an artist who has worked in both policy and academia, I can confidently say that my creative practice has significantly bolstered my analytical one and vice versa. I fear we are deeply entrenched in systems that have prevented considerable advancements in human and nonhuman wellbeing, and our treatment of creativity is a part of the problem.