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© 2018 Trashweezle Art Collective

JAMIE
WEINFURTER

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SCULPTOR

22 • MINNESOTA

I grew up in a middle-class family in rural central Wisconsin. I was pretty crafty as a kid, but I didn’t know I wanted to be an artist until senior year of high school, and I haven’t looked back since. I currently have a BFA with a 3D Emphasis and an Art History Minor, and have recently moved to Minneapolis.

WHAT'S YOUR  BACKGROUND?

WHY DID YOU WANT

TO BE AN ARTIST?

Creating art is how I express myself and open up to others. I want to be an artist to discover more about myself and help others do the same. Plus, I can call myself a drawer.

In the future, I hope to take on more internships at sculpture parks, residencies, and eventually graduate school. I plan on using my time now to build my portfolio and create a bigger impact in the Twin Cities while I’m here.

WHAT ARE YOUR  
FUTURE PLANS?   

I use emotional expression and femininity in harsh environments as the foundations for my work. Creating art acts as an intuitive process of self-discovery that becomes physical embodiments of specific emotions in abstracted or fully formed human figures. A lot of my work comes from experimentation as well, either in contemporary artistic mediums, like fabric, thread, and glass, mixed with traditional sculptural mediums or a process of reworking ideas and sketches.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN THEMES OF YOUR CREATIVE PROJECTS?

WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?

 

My biggest influences are George Segal, Magdalena Abakanowicz, and Do Ho Suh because of their installations of human forms posed to represent emotional concepts in physical manifestations. I’ve also recently been intrigued by the work of Kiki Smith and Kara Walker.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT AS AN ARTIST?

 

I think my greatest accomplishment so far was helping put together our own student juried show during college. The show not only made a statement to our college, but it also helped students gain a platform for expressing their art and opinions on the state of dwindling art appreciation in our community. Plus, it was a great experience to learn how to put a big show together and to work with so many other inspiring artists.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT YOU'VE DONE SO FAR?

Keep going. In high school I was so unsure if I should pursue an art degree and become an artist because of all of the stigma around it, but I would tell my younger self to continue doing what you love and what you’re passionate about no matter what people say.

My favorite project so far was creating the life-sized plaster figure titled Modesty to Humility. The process of casting my own body and using that to show a both feministic and personal concept has definitely been my most successful piece so far and the direction for future works.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL SELF?

HOW HAS YOUR WORK CHANGED OVER TIME?

My work has changed from learning traditional sculptural techniques like welding, woodworking, and ceramics to using other artistic mediums to address the concepts in each piece. My work has also changed from focusing on myself and past trauma to addressing more social issues and bigger concepts that others can connect with.

DOES YOUR WORK COMMENT ON CURRENT SOCIAL OR POLITICAL ISSUES?

My work comments on social issues of feminism, especially in regards to Midwestern culture, as my sculptures usually portray women accepting themselves and using femininity as empowerment. I also use mediums like sewing, textile work, and stereotypical images of femininity to bring the idea of “women’s work” into the male-dominated field of sculpture.

HIVE MIND (CLAUSTROPHOBIA)

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?   

Currently, I’m working on smaller scale plaster bandage sculptures experimenting with  light and paper pulp as more work in translating emotional concepts to physical forms. I’ve also been creating more feministic work, using sewing in mixed media drawings and creating more sketched to work on a three part series of female figures.

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE EVENTS THAT HELPED SHAPE  WHO YOU ARE AS AN ARTIST? 

Current issues and past experiences definitely shape who I am as an artist. The emergence of the #MeToo Movement and other politically charged current events has shaped my socially conceptual work, while personal experiences like the death of my cousin and other major life events drive the emotionally charged pieces.

WHAT IS ONE THING NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Along with making fine art, I also enjoy making costumes for renaissance fairs, comic conventions, and anything nerdy really.

 

WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT THE ART WORLD?

 

I dislike the stigma around being an artist. Especially in American culture, a lot of people don’t believe it is an actual profession unless you make lots of money doing it. With the contemporary art market, I dislike that in the eyes of wealthier patrons, the artist’s name, status, and popularity mean more than the piece itself.

 

WHAT JOBS HAVE YOU DONE OTHER THAN BEING AN ARTIST?

 

I have had many minimum wage jobs as kids do while growing up, but I have also worked as an office assistant and am currently working at The Walker Art Center now.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST/ARTWORK?

 

It’s always had to pick a favorite artist and artwork, but Fallujah by Siah Armjani, the Stringed Figure pieces by Barbara Hepworth, and Do Ho Suh’s fabric installations are some of my favorites.

WHAT ROLE DOES THE ARTIST HAVE IN SOCIETY?

I believe an artist has the platform to address social and political issues during this time to create work from their own experiences that viewers can connect with. I believe artists are in the perfect position to be advocates, allies, leaders, etc. during the current issues we see now.