After nearly 12 inseparable years, last week, I lost my studio mate, hiking buddy and all around partner in crime. Indigo came into our lives as a fluffy four month old rescue puppy and we were in love from day one. In her short life, she camped & hiked all over the west coast in the sun, rain, snow & hail, road tripped through Baja where she was often mistaken as our pet lobo and was the greeting committee for hundreds of students and visitors that came through our studio. We are heartbroken and will dearly miss our adventurous and independent girl. It won’t be the same without you Indyboo.

Kicking off the new year slowly…

2018 was a crazy busy year filled with travel and art adventures and I loved every minute of it but I’m intentionally starting off 2019 a little slower. Taking a few days to rest up, get my body on the correct time zone and be thoughtful about what is to come this year. The first things I did on the first day of the year was take a morning mile long swim in a 52 degree ocean- freezing but exhilarating- followed by a hike with family and friends. Not a bad way to start off my promise to spend as much time as possible outdoors! That said, I do have quite a few art adventures in the works already…

Kicking off the new year slowly... | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

First exhibit of the new year will be at Pajaro Valley Gallery for Take-Aways, Art-to-Go! in Watsonville where I’ll have small works for sale and I’ve collaborated with sculptor Jamie Abbott to make sculptural necklaces – they are so fun! Be sure to check out this exhibit when it opens January 23rd.

Larger work is getting shipped off in a few weeks to Cebera Gallery in Kansas City which is a pretty exciting line up of ceramic artists to join the ranks of. AND, I’ll also be headed to Florida towards the end of the month for a site visit on a potentially big public art project- fingers crossed for that one! So with all of that planned just for this month, a few days of taking it easy feels like a good choice. Hope you are all easing into the new year as well too!

happy happy, merry merry

It’s hard to believe that we are at the tail end of a very long and busy year but I just wanted to take the time to thank everyone for their support and positivity throughout the year. I really couldn’t of done it without you! To wrap up this past year…

happy happy, merry merry | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture
photo credit: Crystal Birns

…I had my first solo museum exhibit, my work was included in 16 shows, I participated in 2 different month long residencies, traveled to 5 new countries, and I installed a permanent piece of public art internationally for the first time – it was a pretty epic year to say the least! And as a bonus personal goal I’m particularly proud of,  I got yelled at (twice!) by a customs agent because my passport was too full of stamps. Next year’s plans already bring the promise of more exhibits, residencies, collaborations, more art making and travel (including a new passport!) – and I can’t wait! 

I always say it takes a village to raise and artist and I’m so grateful to call you all my village. Thank you for your continued support! 

Until 2019… happy happy & merry merry!


It Snowed on the Umbels!

It Snowed on the Umbels! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

I was sent these pictures of my bright red Umbel Installation this morning after a proper snowfall in Mariestad Sweden. I love, love, love seeing them with with little piles of snow contrasting the red glaze. They remind me of the red winter berries on all of the shrubs. Happy Winter!!

The Umbels Are Up!

It’s hard to believe in just a few short months; an application, turned into an acception, a sketch turned into a sculpture and now, I have a permanent public art installation in Mariestad Sweden. I’m so grateful for everyone who had a hand in making this happen. And I really look forward to seeing how this installation will change over the seasons. I’ve been trying to imagine the snow cover first, and then the green leaves coming back to the trees in the background of the sculptures and eventually to 12′ tall hops plants that will be planted and flank the Umbel flowers on either side- lots to look forward too! More pics coming to the installation page soon!

The Umbels Are Up! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Greetings from Sweden!

After a very long journey, I arrived in the lovely town of Mariestad of the shorefront of Lake Vänern. The hours of sunlight are very limited here this time of year and the drizzly weather makes for fabulously moody skies. I spent the first few days getting over the worst of the jet lag by getting a lay of the land, walking through the nature reserves and watching the locals prepare for the upcoming holiday season. The location for my artwork will be in the Universitetsparken where the University of Gothenburg holds their horticulture program. It seems like the perfect place for my Umbels to reside.

Greetings from Sweden | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

My time in Sweden has not just been spent staring off at scenic vistas, in my few days here so far I’ve unpacked my crate (everything survived- yay!), I have most of the flowers attached to the metal structures, the location of the Umbels has been selected, so the holes for the bases were dug and lighting placement was also chosen. The next few days involve sanding down the connection point of epoxy between the ceramic and the metal so that it’s a smooth transition between the structure and the flowers and  then painting the transition to match. There’s also a few interviews with the local news who are interested in my crazy sputnik looking flowers and then it’s looking like Friday morning will be the official final placement. I really can’t say enough about the kommun (municipality) of Mariestad that has answered every question, solved every hiccup in the process at every turn and been so compliant to the artists choice in how steps are taken. I think I’ve been very spoiled here with this amazing public art committee. Final installation pics are coming soon!

Greetings from Sweden | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Sweden, here I come!

Making Progress... | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculptureI was so happy to hear that my crate of artwork arrived safely in Mariestad Sweden!

One hurdle accomplished. Yay!

I leave for Sweden today and will be spending the following 10 days assembling and installing two large Umbel Flowers for the Off Season Art Gardening: Humle Park project. I’m so looking forward to meeting the team I’ve been planning with in person and exploring Sweden for the first time.

Hoping that it all comes together as planned and that the artwork looks great installed! Fingers crossed!

more to come soon….

And she’s off!

And She's Off! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculptureYesterday afternoon, my art went out on an adventure! A crate of sculptural parts is on its way to Sweden and I’ll be meeting it on the other side in a few weeks. Fingers crossed that it makes it there ok!

I know I’ve spoken about this before but the pressure of creating installational artwork is always a thrill. I really never know if it will all work out until it has. This installation in Sweden is no exception. I’m shipping all the parts which I hope will arrive ok, then I’m counting on my team in Sweden to help me assemble and install this piece in a place I’ve never been before. I’m also trusting all of my testing and consultations with experts that the clay will be able to survive the winters there. All the moving parts of this project make for a slew of opportunities where everything can go wrong, but that’s all part of the fun!

More to come on this project in a few weeks!