Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculptureSome of you know that I’ve spent quite a bit of time in post-earthquake Haiti. I’ve collaborated with artists there, brought supplies, like books, solar lights, laptops and art materials to kids in orphanages and schools and I also helped raise funds to purchase 60 goats for a rural community’s livestock program. I have strong friendships from these projects and a deep admiration for those who are still there helping make the country a better place.

Locally, I’ve partnered with the Homeless Garden Project and local schools to help give art supplies and create small community projects that beautify a space or give someone an experience they might not otherwise have. I believe that art has the power to create change and it is my obligation to share my creative talent with others. You can read more about my philanthropic projects here.

A lot of the way that I’ve made these projects happen is through the sale of my ceramic Art Hearts. These sweet little hearts are fun for me to make and give me a break from the seriousness of my sculptures and installations. They are loved by everyone who receives one and each sale makes it possible for me make projects like these happen.

So if you believe in giving on Giving Tuesday, please consider purchasing an Art Heart or two in my online shop or making a donation to your favorite non-profit. If you want to donate to a Haitian organization, I can recommend Haiti Communitere, Ti Kay and Keep Winter’s School Open without hesitation- all of your donations will go directly to support the Haitian communities these groups serve.

Thanks for sharing the love this holiday season!

Opt Outside

opt outside | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Ok, so it’s ‘black friday’, perhaps the stupidest made up day ever but as a small business owner and artist I’d love to tell you to go BUY ART! I’d love to pitch why my art is the perfect gift for all the creative people on your list and how important it is to support small businesses and local artists. And I really do believe that and I really do love to give and get art as a gift but today I’m not going to do that.

Instead, I will be outside hiking, sleeping in my tent and cooking over a camp stove and I hope that you get a chance to do all or part of that too. The hashtag #optoutside created by REI is something I can get behind. As an artist, connecting with nature and being inspired by nature is what it’s all about. Gift shopping can wait, so I encourage you all to #optoutside today!

See ya out there!

New Art Hearts Coming Soon!

Here’s a sneak peek at the newest styles of Art Hearts coming to the online shop very soon!

In the meantime, you can still purchase other style hearts in both ornaments and stems, but stock is running low on these styles, so be sure to order soon. And remember that a portion of all Art Heart sales benefit philanthropic art projects, read more here…

New Art Hearts Coming Soon! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculptureGot a retail shop? Wholesale accounts are welcome, contact Jenni for details…

The Gift of Sharing Art

 

The Gift of Sharing Art | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculptureI love getting and giving art as a gift, it’s always unique and very personal for the giver and receiver. Next best thing to getting actual artwork is a book about an artist and their work.

Art books are a great way to share an artist you love with your friends and family. They make the perfect gift and also help support the artists too.

My hardcover book ‘where art & nature meet’ can be ordered directly from my Blurb bookstore. This book chronicles all of my In the Field photoshoots from 2012 – 2015 and makes a unique gift for the art and nature lover in your life!

Don’t forget that you can also download a PDF version of my first book ‘a relationship with earth’ for FREE just by joining the mailing list.

Order your copy today and thanks for supporting independent artists!

Gratitude

gratitude | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculptureI spend a lot of time sharing new work, events and ideas with you, but I want to take a moment to share my gratitude. This year Open Studios was unbelievable. From the masses of people the first weekend to braving the rain the second weekend, it was really an incredible year. Thank you, thank you, thank you to ALL of the patrons, students, friends, family and fellow artists who came to the studio to see my studio, who bought art and who brought me gifts and good wishes. I can’t do this event without you!

If you came to the studio on the first weekend, you probably met my parents who flew out from the east coast just to help me with the event. The shopped for me, set up art, cleaned, put up signs and worked both days of the event all day long. I overheard someone ask my mom is she had ever worried about me being an artist and the answer was ‘Never!’ Can’t get more supportive than that- thanks mom & dad!

You probably also met my amazing husband who despite being a just a week past a minor surgery and having to get up early to go to his real job the next day, was at the studio all day greeting you as you came in on sunny days and on the second weekend was running around fixing signs in the rain. His unbelievable support for my art and business is really what makes it all happen and I’m so grateful.

with much gratitude for all of you,

-j

 

BUY ART

BUY ART | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculptureThere is a notion that buying art is only for the elite, those with large enough spaces to house art and that you must be educated in the field in order to make good purchases. All of that is wrong. One of the best lessons I learned wine tasting is that it doesn’t matter what the bottle costs or whose top ten list it’s on. What matters is that I like the way it tastes. Duh, right?

The same applies to art. If you like it, you like it. Maybe you can go deeper into figuring out why you like it, whether it’s an emotional connection to a piece or a connection to the material it’s made out of. Whatever the reason, if you connect with a piece you want to surround yourself with it, just like a wine you enjoy can round out a meal, a piece of art can round out your space.

Maybe you can’t afford the piece you connect with or you don’t have a wall big enough to hang it on, this happens to me all the time, but the good thing is that most artists make work in a variety of size and price ranges which can make taking home a piece of their work affordable to nearly everyone.

You are of course welcome to just come and look but for my Open Studios event this year, I have work priced from $15. and up, affordable for every budget. Thanks for supporting independent artists and buying art!

My Art, Your Space: Cruz Family

Here’s this week’s share from the Cruz Family:

“I am amazed by how each piece is intricately made.  And, these two pieces look like they were meant to be together.  One is growing and exploring out of its shell. The other one is still nesting and carefully watching.  

These two pieces are suspended by hidden wires placed high on my loft’s wall.  They cast different shadows depending on the time of day.  They are very cool and one of a kind, I love them.”
My Art, Your Space: Cruz Family | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

I love seeing where my art ends up and hearing why you connect with a piece, if you have some of my work that you’d like to share, please email me! Thanks for sharing!

 

 

Save the Date: Open Studios 2016

Thrilled to be accepted into my 12th year as an Open Studios artist!

Save the Date: Open Studios 2016 | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

This event will be the inaugural opening of my new studio on the westside of Santa Cruz, come celebrate our new creative space!

My studio will be open:
North County | Saturday & Sunday, October 8 & 9 | 11- 5
All County Encore Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, October 15 & 16 | 11-5
Artist numbers and maps to the studio coming soon…

About the Tour:
Open Studios Art Tour is an annual self-guided studio tour of 300 artist studios across Santa Cruz County from the redwoods to the sea during the first three weekends in October. Learn more…

Sculpture IS: In the Gallery OPENS

Sculpture Is: In the Gallery 2016 | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Sculpture IS: In the Gallery OPENS today!

May 4 – June 19

Demos & Talks from participating artists:

Thursday May 5th, 2016

Demos: 12:30 – 2
Talks: 2:30 – 3:30
Enjoy demonstrations by: Jamie Abbott, Ingrid Marianne, Payson McNett, Cynthia Siegel, Victoria May, Angela Gleason and Beverly Raynor
Enjoy talks by: Rose Sellery, Cynthia Siegel, Roy Holmberg & Jenni Ward

Cabrillo College Gallery
Aptos, Library, Room 1002

Opening Reception:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Demos: 11:00 – 1:45
Reception: 2:00 – 4:00
Enjoy demonstrations by Jamie Abbott, Carlos Dye, Barbara Downs, Jeff Arnett, Wendy Ballen, and Ingrid Marianne from 11:00-1:45

Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery
37 Sudden St Watsonville

Sharing Art: Liz Crain

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to drop in on artist Liz Crain and pick up a few of her ceramic pieces. We got to talking about clay, art marketing, upcoming exhibits and other artsy talk. It’s always great to touch base with other artists who are struggling with the same things you are and to celebrate in each others successes as well.

One can of Whup Ass and two shot up beer cans that appear to be made of rusting metal are actually hand built from clay. I got these pieces with the intention of gifting them but I have to say, I’m going to have a hard time letting these guys go.

sharing art: Liz Crain | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

More about Liz’s work…
Liz makes fool-the-eye ceramic pieces which seem like vintage, rusty, dented cans. Tea Cans, Canisters, Spice Tins and Beer Cans, all meant to be more than meets the eye. Visit her website and online shop to pick out your own pieces! www.lizcrainceramics.com