Jessica Straus at Boston Sculptors Gallery

I made a trip to the SOWA District in Boston today to pick up my exhibition postcards at Bromfield Gallery and also to attend a reception for my friend Jessica Straus‘ solo exhibition, “Fittings and Findings” at the Boston Sculptors Gallery.

Bromfield Gallery Postcard

Postcard for my upcoming exhibition at Bromfield Gallery. Nancy Diessner, who is exhibiting in Gallery I at the same time as my show has her work on the left of the postcard.

I met Jessica at my first teaching position after I finished my MFA in Sculpture back in 2004.  I was a sabbatical replacement at Concord Academy in Painting and Drawing, and Jessica taught Sculpture and Drawing in the Art Department. Jessica has been a wonderful resource and mentor for me in terms of my work as a teacher and artist.   I’ve always been thankful to have had the opportunity to work in the same department with her, even if it was only for one year. We’ve stayed in touch since then, and it’s always a treat to see her shows.

Jessica’s sculptures are created from both hand carved pieces of wood as well as an assortment of found objects.  She combines the various materials seamlessly into a single object which makes sense within itself. The installations for her sculptures are always very involved, and I think this exhibition was one of her best yet; she really understands how to get the work to interact with the space and surface planes of  the wall and floor in a manner which compliments and highlights the work very successfully.  Another aspect of her work I’ve always admired is the way her sculptures are reminiscent of toys, gadgets, organic materials, and tools, and yet they always manage to escape being labeled any of those items. Her sculptures walk a fine line between all of these associations and result in quirky, whimsical and odd objects which are visually engaging and thought provoking.

Jessica Straus at Boston Sculptors Gallery

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