Summer 2008 saw a record number of 17-year cicadas in the mountains of North Carolina. Watching them struggle to dig themselves out from underground after so long, so many just to be eaten or fall on their backs and not be able to right themselves, seemed tragic and wasteful. They had spent too much time, had worked too hard for too long to just die by chance. It occurred to me that much of their labor is parralleled in an artistic life. As artists we strive for success, struggle for years often to never see the level of accomplishment that we dream of. Only a few ultimately "make it". Upward Mobility depicts this climb from toil down below to a transformed future above.