Born a fearless explorer and raised by a family of rugged outdoorsmen Holly sculpted her life to embrace what she holds most dearly: the mystery of nature. As a biologist and award-winning multi-media artist, she is humbly dedicated to humanity’s inherent connection to Mother Earth, protecting our natural environment and serving mankind, especially the under-represented and vulnerable.
A love for all things wild and free combined with an addiction for adventure led her to a degree in biology and minor in Spanish from the University of Northern Colorado. After traversing West Africa, South and Central America, Asia and Europe through various employments and expeditions, such as a solo two-month journey down the Kwitaro and Rupununi Rivers of Guyana aboard a dugout canoe with two Amerindian guides, Holly recognized an immediate need to document indigenous knowledge and the benefits of melding the traditional with the present. She shifted back to studies and was awarded a prestigious Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship studying traditional environmental knowledge. She received a post graduate diploma in marine studies from the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji with a focus on women fishers and the traditional Fijian calendar, much of which is based on the seasonal rhythms of marine and plant life.
As Holly’s scientific career blossomed, she continued to explore her artistic talents, becoming one of Alaska’s most recognized multi-media sculptors. Inspired by the spirit of nature her creations appeal to a wide spectrum of people and are found internationally in diverse public areas including military bases, hospitals, schools, corporations, private collections and recreational areas.
Focused on creating artwork communicating awareness and healing at human, environmental and spiritual levels, Holly uses her art to explore the theory that mankind’s lost connection with nature is at the heart of our environmental and societal challenges. Her art serves as an excellent medium to bridge the gap between science and the public at large. Recently she has expanded from sculpture into painting, photography, film making and writing.
Holly currently ebbs and flows between her home in Wasilla, Alaska, Molokai, Hawaii and the Fiji Islands. Outside of her art in Alaska, she works as a seasonal research assistant for Winged Whale Research and their 40-year study of humpback whales in Prince William Sound. In Hawaii she dedicates herself to the restoration of traditional fishponds, educating youth and adults about traditional knowledge at Kahina Po’haku Fish Pond on the island of Molokai.
At this very moment you can find her in the Fiji Islands crewing with the Uto ni Yalo, the Fijian traditional sailing canoe, assisting with their environmental education and outreach program. Additionally, in Fiji she is lead investigator/coordinator for Mirthquake Foundation’s creation of a mini documentary on the spinner dolphins of Moon Reef and their ancient relationship to the Lau clan of Silana village.
Holly has shown the unique ability to build synergies between her very significant artistic talent, science and traditional knowledge as a basis for engaging local communities and individuals in the promotion of enlightened environmentally and culturally sustainable development in a rapidly changing world, a world in which the major threats to sustainability are the loss of traditional knowledge and the weakening of our links with and knowledge of nature.