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It's nice to meet you

I don't think I've taken the time to properly introduce myself. Given that we've been in business for a couple of years, that seems a bit ridiculous.

Here's a little about me. I'll start with the basics.

My name is Iris. And while I happily respond to the name of the flower ("Eye-ris") - my family actually pronounces it as "Ear-is".

Which brings me to the first thing about me. I was born in the US, but I grew up in a German household. By that I mean really, really German. Speaking German, eating German food, sleeping in German beds (think folded featherbeds.... my US sleepover friends were perplexed).

My mother (aka Mamma-Bear) lives in the US near us. All other blood relatives enjoy life in the land of Biergartens, on the other side of the pond.

My professional life has been (hmmm what's the expression?) - on a meandering path.

I grew up in the aforementioned German household, filled with artists, writers, and the occasional opera singer. My mother was the proud owner of an antique art gallery in Boston. My sister, a passionate artist.

How odd it was to learn that science was my thing.

In college I took all sorts of classes. I loved very random subjects - and it would not have been out of character for me to be an active participant in, let's say, the course called "underwater basket weaving". Regardless, every semester, I kept going with at least one or two science courses.

Because deep down inside I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up.

Low and behold, when I grew up (well, at least numerically), I actually became a veterinarian. But in typical Iris fashion, I decided to do it the weird way. I moved overseas and studied in Ireland: a place where the rigors of my veterinary education were the real deal (filled with blood, sweat and tears), but the pain was balanced nicely with a LOT of time at the pub.

I came back to the US after five years. I started working here. And I mean the "what just happened??" kind of working.

In other words, it was all work, all of the time.

(Side note - next time you bring Fluffy to the vet, please be sure to thank the staff. All of them. Chances are they are having a freaking rough day. Being a veterinary professional is not just hugging puppies... take my word for it).

Anyway, I worked full time as a veterinarian for close to a decade. And during that time, I met my human soulmate, Gavin.

Gavin is the greatest husband on earth. No joke.

He puts up with all of my crazy

(and has plenty of his own).

More on that later.

Over time we adopted our doggie-soulmate-family. More about these little monsters later, too

We lived in rural New Hampshire for years. At that time, I had an opportunity to branch out professionally. I found myself teaching undergraduate biology, and absolutely (crazily) loving it. Teaching college students the biology of reproduction, for example, and watching their eyes become wide with shock and pure astonishment... well, it is more rewarding than you can possibly imagine.

Over the years life took more interesting twists and turns. To be honest, it is nearly impossible to put all of those changes into one post.

But here are some important highlights:

-Every year I grew more attached to the landscapes in rural New England. I took my photography hobby seriously. Capturing moments of color, light, and symmetry became a passion.

-Gavin and I moved from our home in the New Hampshire woods to a wonderful spot in Chester, Vermont.

-Wherever I went, I found myself deeply attached to the land - and the wildlife that called that land home.

-I learned what was most important to me. This helped me carve out my path professionally. I still work (very) occasionally as a clinical veterinarian. And, after a hiatus from teaching, I am back. My work during the week is once again with college students. I love being a college professor. I am also lucky enough to continue work on conservation research projects, including work with shorebirds and turtles.

- At the start of the pandemic, we needed to close my mother's gallery. This was an achingly painful process for her, but also for us. I made a promise that the gallery would find a new home, but with a new direction. And then a little spot on the green in my Vermont hometown opened. And Fischer Arts became a place for others to visit.

So - yes, I continue on my science-y path. But I also found my way back to my artistic family roots. I have the opportunity to share a deep love and appreciation for the natural world with others through the truly unique artwork available at Fischer Arts.

It has been such a pleasure sharing this passion with all of you. And I can't wait for the next twist and turn. Who knows what adventures await...

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