Huntsville & Decatur

Artist Talk with Jessica Smith

February 09, 2019 in Huntsville , AL


Unless otherwise stated, photo provided by Artist Talk with Jessica Smith

Artist Talk with Jessica Smith February 9, 4 PM Third Floor East Gallery From the artist: The act of cultivating space is celebrated within my modular ceramic sculptures. Each sculpture is comprised of many stoneware gummy bears. Mold-making is my effort to explore systems of mass-production while recognizing the tender reality that each cast offers slight fluctuations. Inferior pressings experience rebirth vis-a-vis the clay reclaim process. Ultimately, there is an erosion of the original mold. You could say that, just like in life, perfection is a concept that does not ever truly exist and deterioration can occur despite efforts at preservation. After mass-producing sprig forms, I assemble these entities into a tessellating composite. These press-molded forms speak toward obsessive compulsion and the comfort of smallness. Movement, chance, and rhythm are concerns explored during this fabrication state. Ceramics is a material that I use because it captures and responds to an environment. Strong air circulation in the studio results in my sculptures drying with a torque to them. Likewise, all parts and pieces must exist in the equally same hydrated, humid state or cracking will develop. Glaze is a way to adhere color to a surface but it also functions as structural reinforcement. Permanence is only achieved in the kiln firing as the sculpture becomes static matter. I find joy in making sense of this sculptural space that toes the line between balanced precision and the edge of chaos. About the artist: Jessica Smith is a visual artist who lives and works in western Alabama. Currently, she serves as an Associate Professor of Art at the University of West Alabama. Smith grew up in the Chicago area, completed undergraduate study at the New York State College of Ceramics, and attended graduate school at Tulane University. When she is not in her studio, chances are good that you can find her baking pastries in her kitchen or swaying on her yoga mat