Thursday, July 1, 2010

MERGE: Alumni Exhibition 2010, Featured Artist Jennifer Jeannelle

Jennifer Jeannelle ('98, art) is this week’s second featured MERGE artist. Jeannelle teaches ceramics and sculpture to high school students, has led workshops for other Colorado art teachers and plans on participating in a teacher exchange to Europe. While working full-time and raising a family, she maintains her studio, often creating art alongside her students. Jeannelle received her BFA in Art from Metro State in 1998 and an MFA from the Art Institute of Boston soon thereafter.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

Metro State: How would you characterize your art?
Jennifer Jeannelle: I tend to refer to myself as a mixed media sculptor since I seem to enjoy creating my art with a wide range of materials. I will always be most loyal to clay, however, and always like to include it in my art somehow. Because of clay's inherent connection with the earth, my work also tends to have environmental and science-based themes.

MS: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it.
JJ: My latest body of work is about the cyclical endeavor of decay and re-growth. I like to create visual connections between the natural world and manmade objects and tend to explore the transcendence of time.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
JJ: Wow! I had some amazing influence by two professors in particular - Rodger Lang and Susan Josepher. Both encouraged me to not be intimidated by my big ideas and recognized my drive to create and teach others about my passion for art. I think of these two often and how their words of wisdom still, 12 years later, help me to make decisions about my career.

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
JJ: It has definitely grown in size! I was very interested the intimacy of the object as an undergrad and created very small, detailed pieces to pull the viewer closer to the work. Now, I wish to create a space in which the viewer can be surrounded by an art experience

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE.
JJ: I was excited for the opportunity and wanted to show pieces that represented my progress as an artist. The series that is featured in the MERGE show represents a turning point in the direction of my work.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State’s new CVA facility?
JJ: Of course, it's an honor! It's an exciting opportunity for Metro and CVA to continue growth in the arts program. I am proud to be a part.

MS: Is there anything I’m not asking you that you want to share with me?
JJ: I love travelling and love teaching and love my family. How I manage to juggle my busy schedule sometimes baffles me, but when you are creating a life you love, you find a way to make it work!

To see more of Jeannelle's work, please visit her Web site.

Each week, from now until August 28, the Office of Alumni Relations will do a short Q&A with one to three artists who are featured in the Center for Visual Art’s MERGE: Metro State Alumni Exhibition.
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