Jessica Hunt was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where she presently resides. She received her MFA in 2018 from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and currently teaches sculpture at John Burroughs School. She has shown in several regional midwestern galleries including the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mildred M. Cox Gallery, and the Praxis Gallery. She placed first for her public sculpture, "Bound," from artist and juror David Deming. Most recently, she received the Wend Petit Gay Memorial Scholarship.
The lens through which I make my art that has been ruled between a rigid dichotomy of my mother and father—the emotional and the impassive, the intimate and the reserved. Intimacy is the common denominator of my work, whether the objects were arranged as such, inherently built in, or coldly withdrawn—the idea is always present.
I share my emotional thoughts and feelings without much hesitation and I absorb other’s just the same. I am highly sensitive to the interactions and connections I make with friends, family, strangers, and people in general. My sculptural practice begins by contemplating this collection of subjective experiences and feelings, as well as a dissection of my own. I often work intuitively, transforming personal experiences into ambiguous objects and making them public, so they can be reexamined and more relatable to the viewer.
Most of my work deals with the interpersonal relationships we create and maintain with others and ourselves, which means I have a tendency to work in multiples. Centering on themes of love and family, the work explores our desire to be vulnerable and non-sexually voyeuristic. Visually and conceptually, the work falls somewhere on the spectrum of consciously ambiguous to highly personalized.
In their sculptural form, the seemingly soft and plush forms almost always relate to the body in some way. The internal body plays a metaphorical role in my aesthetic, one that symbolizes the way we consume, digest, and release our feelings and emotions. The forms often wear various “skins” that touch on the idea of growth and experience. At times, the object is the skin itself—shed and preserved from another form.
The objects range from representational figures to abstract bulbous forms to soft internal sculptures that feel familiar, yet are at the same time unrecognizable. I create forms that simultaneously feel sexual and asexual, humorous and sobering, comforting and grotesque. They are arranged, and perhaps later rearranged, to give a different and ever-shifting understanding of their dynamic dependent on the viewer’s subjectivity. When I make I find I project myself, or others I know, onto the work. My goal is for the viewer to do the same.