is a New York-based mixed-media artist and educator, originally hailing from Port Chester, NY. She received a Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts from SUNY Purchase School of Art + Design. She has exhibited in various New York venues and has previously been awarded an Artist-in-Residence position at Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia. Her works can be found in the National Parks Foundation’s public collection and in private collections within the United States and Europe. Jenn is currently an Art Educator with the New-York Historical Society and a Teaching Artist with Wingspan Arts, providing Art programs to students throughout NYC. She has previously taught Art in Brooklyn PreK-8 private schools, and work as a Teaching Artist for the NARS Foundation. She has also assisted in art forensic and conservation projects for collections at the Hispanic Society of America Museum, PepsiCo Sculpture Garden, and TONDO Art Forensics Lab in Budapest, Hungary.
How does an artist depict someone who’s too familiar, or a stranger, someone no longer living, or whom they’ve never seen? These scenarios continue to draw Jenn Cacciola through a variety of mediums, all the while speaking to a single, recognizable pursuit: to know and to know well.
Through variety of texture and use of extensive layering, her work investigates the intersection between the specificity of our world—of a face—and the depth of the unknowable. Her pieces take form in tapestry, sculpture, painting, and installation—sometimes involving audio components. Isolation, aging, vulnerability, and the ways in which all of these factors affect our ability to know one another serve as just a few themes in her work. This often results in images utilizing portraiture or forms of anthropomorphism. Additional studies in Chemistry and Art History support her constant inquiry into the properties of various materials that enable them to evoke certain “personalities.” In an effort to understand what it means to honestly be “moved,” many of her works address viewers individually. They sometimes impose themselves or call to viewers in a way that physically establishes an almost private relationship between the piece and its visitor. Her current endeavors include large-scale, layered, textured tapestries involving audio interviews, which induce a sense of familiarity and intimacy for viewers.
During residency at the Sheen Center, Jenn will be working on her current large-scale “audio-tapestry,” Barabbas’ Garden, in which she seeks to question how growth occurs while a person is affected by environments, decisions, circumstances, and the intersection between self and others. Using ecological/botanical metaphor for human growth in a social environment, she will create a multi-layered, embroidered image of the depths of a forest as an anthropomorphic character of Barabbas. The piece and its accompanying smaller works will utilize interviews gathered from volunteers. To inquire about participating, please contact the artist at www.jenncacciolastudio.com/contact.