Jamie Weinfurter is a multi-disciplinary 3D artist from Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
Read more about her work at jamieweinfurter.com
Follow her on instagram: @jaybyrdart
Jamie Weinfurter was born and raised in rural central Wisconsin. From a young age, Jamie developed a passion for drawing and crafting as a means for self-expression, which developed into investigations of gender and identity in sculpture. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with an emphasis in 3D in 2018. There, Jamie displayed her work in various juried exhibitions, co-chaired a student-run juried show, became an officer for Student Art League, received multiple scholarships and the Oscar grant for her senior exhibition, and interned as the 3D and ceramics studio tech for two years. After graduating, Jamie has participated in numerous group shows in Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin; had pieces on public display in Deerfield, Illinois and Mankato, Minnesota; and has created outdoor sculpture at Josephine Sculpture Park, Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum, and Franconia Sculpture Park in 2019. Jamie has recently completed a residency with NE Sculpture Gallery Factory and has installed sculpture in Mankato, Bemidji, and Rochester, Minnesota in 2020. She will continue her residency at Josephine Sculpture Park in fall of 2020. She will also have a residency with Salem Art Works (SAW) and install an outdoor sculpture in Lafayette, Colorado that is postponed until 2021.
My art making is a continued process of self-actualization and humanitarianism. I am searching to find my own sense of belonging through the construction of autonomous structures and spaces to support those who have experienced similar feelings of displacement. Raised in a conservative Midwestern home, I was taught specific cultural norms of proper behavior, conformity, and internalized sexism from a young age. Art has become an outlet to explore my own purpose, identity, and gender. I became enamored with formalist art through welding, woodworking, and metal casting initially because of the similarity to techniques that I learned in childhood. Now focusing more conceptually, I juxtapose social stratification, represented by these methods, with found object installations, textile studies, and video collage as crafted intersectionality.
After receiving a traumatic brain injury in the spring of 2019, I have relearned aspects of my own history and reasonings to create art. With this in mind, the inherent history of each material used in my installations is manipulated to change familiar, yet distorted objects, into something unexpected. Hard-work and meticulous details are integral to translating my creative methods and conceptual ideas into the substance and composition of each work.
Past work of mine has used domestic crafts as a means to reclaim sculpture. Themes of stereotypically feminine crafts in harsh environments analyze the history of “women’s work”: a derogatory term for female engendered objects, themes, and roles. The lack of recognition in craft based work by female artists is one of the many ways that the male-centric art community has dominated fine art.
In my recent work, textiles and found objects are added as focal areas to cast and fabricated metal to reclaim traditionally masculine mediums and fields of study. Safe spaces are produced from softening harsh environments, which instill myself as a queer female artist.I am currently making sculpture and installations that discuss individual growth and the need for change in current social and political structures. My labor intensive practice addresses systemic inequality, exclusion, and personal identity. I have found that humans continuously change as individuals throughout their lives. If we become stagnant or comfortable in our environment, we become resistant to change. This fear causes negative reactions to social issues, such as racism and sexism, to occur. While still an intuitive exercise in self-discovery, my previously muted voice is instilled in discussions of sexuality, gender, and identity. Every sculpture I assemble manifests personal understanding, social consciousness, and overall empowerment.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still running rampant in the United States, five months after Trump hoped the virus would miraculously disappear. The American population has instead become de-sensitized to PSAs, death tolls, and 'Rona personified as a household name. She's worked her way into our daily lives, and now she's here to stay in our consumer world.
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