Unbeknownst to us when we made Jessica Sanders our January 30th Artist of the Week was that Jessica’s studio is actually located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; just a speedy subway ride from GN8 HQ. So after a couple of email exchanges, violà! A studio visit was born. Here’s a glimpse into our memorable drop in.
As sunlight seeped through the ceiling windows, illuminating the bare white walls and buttery hints of beeswax, Nate and I realized that Jessica Sanders’ studio is much like her work: quiet, airy and honest.
As Jessica walked us through the space, she told us that the main intent of her work is to let her mediums, often wood, canvas, and wax, try to speak for themselves. “I feel that the more my hand is removed, the better the work is,” she explained. When asked what inspires her work or process Sanders replied that “In a way I find myself to be a kindred spirit with artists of the 60′s and 70′s such as Eva Hesse because of the sensitivity in their work and the attention to the materials.” Some fine examples of that concept are shown below:
As the visit progressed, Nate and I were encouraged to examine and even touch different types of waxes and silicons already applied to various works. We discovered that the beeswax samples were very smooth and solid, while silicon was tacky and resistant to the movement of our fingertips. Sanders, who was originally a ceramics major, said that she “likens these materials to clay because they are malleable and respond to the heat of our hands.”
Speaking of heating up, Jessica melts her wax by placing a sealed metal bucket (obviously containing wax) on a freestanding hot-plate – a convenient process which she thought-up. Funnily enough, when the hot-plate is activated, the wax inside the bucket begins to contract/expand, making the metal bucket wobble around quite a bit. To me, it ends up looking like an angry little robot waking up from a long slumber. Check it out:
Jessica told us that she once had about 20 hot-plates on at the same time, “it was like an army of charging buckets,” she laughed. Wish we could have seen that! Here are some more studio shots:
As for upcoming events, Jessica will be participating in a group show with fellow artists Jason Mones and Ryan Estep at the Curbs and Stoops Active Space (566 Johnson Ave., 2nd Fl, Brooklyn, NY) this spring/summer. Taking place during Bushwick Open Studios, the show will open with a reception June 1st and run until July 1st.
I should also mention that Jessica is among 36 artists selected by the Bronx Museum of the Arts to participate in their Artist in the Marketplace Program (AIM) this year. Created in 1980, AIM strives to bring exposure and networking opportunities to young artists living and working in NYC. A curated, biannual exhibition of the participating artists will take place early 2013. More info to come as the year progresses.
Jessica Sanders is an artist and MFA graduate from Ohio State University. Originally from Florida, she now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.