Artist Spotlight: Jessica Slaven

October 20, 2016

“Energy, faith, and words populate my contemplative life, and I then work through those contemplations materially in the studio.  I like to help a thought find its physical expression.   I hope to concentrate energy and make the object vital.” – Jessica Slaven on her artistic process. 

Jessica Slaven is an artist and writer whose studio is in Mount Vernon, NY.  She holds an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA inSculpture from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and attended Universität der Künste Berlin. She co-owns and operates the recording studio Oktaven Audio in Mount Vernon, and is a practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga. Her colorful works Eeceit (2014), Er,Er,Er (2015), HELL TOUPÉE (2015), and Spectralism (2015) are on view in the gallery as part of our current show, Darkwater Revival: After Terry Adkins.

About Adkins, Slaven says, “Terry’s practice was catholic  writing, objects, music, performance, print, video, sound, everything.  His intention, or meditation, simply had to find the right form.  I moved from the city to Westchester County in 2009 and I’ll often disembark from the MNR suburban rail at the Harlem/125 Street station.  One day I noticed the large relief panel sculpture with sunbursts and sphinxes on the train overpass, and to my delight learned that it’s Terry’s 1999 Harlem EncoreIt gives me great comfort and encouragement to pass through that sculpture a few times a week.  Doing so makes me feel connected to Terry, and there are a lot of taxis under the overpass, which reminds me of his stories from his early days in NY, when one of his everythings was driving a cab.  Sculptors do everything, but sometimes, especially early on, we have to do a lot of other things in order to be sculptors.  Terry helped me find more ease and acceptance with this.”