Turbulence | LUX Center for the Arts | Art Gallery, Classes, Summer Camps & Outreach



06/04/2021 - 5:00pm
June 4th, 2021 to August 27th, 2021
Artist Statement

Artist Demonstration with Janis Mars Wunderlich

I am a story-teller, creating visual narratives about human fragility and resilience. I combine animal and human imagery to evoke a universal commonality and collective identity that defies categorization and communicates the complexities of our lived experiences.

I grew up as the eldest daughter of ten children in a devoutly religious family with a Cherokee folk-artist grandfather. My memories are a curious blend of his Native story-telling imagery and cultural mythology synthesized with spiritual doctrine and rituals. The chaotic adventures of growing up in a huge pod of siblings also awakened my interest in exploring the dualities and contrasts that exist in our world.

I see duality in clay, as it is both a fragile and strong material. When wet, it records the fingerprints of the maker and can easily be manipulated. Yet when fired to temperature, it gains permanence and becomes resistance to the elements. Ancient ceramic remnants are buried in the earth for thousands of years, broken and scattered, yet each piece is impervious and strong. These fragments can be pieced together to reveal the cultural and spiritual identity of past makers and civilizations.

I appreciate the contrasts of clay and other tactile materials, and the poetry of translating visual language into three-dimensional form. The intensive process of working by hand to create meaningful forms requires patience, commitment, and adaptability. Experiencing failure builds endurance and presents opportunities for problem-solving.  The process of becoming resilient in all aspects of life involves facing and overcoming difficulty, failure, and imperfection and while patiently building a foundation of hope.

There are many who have been historically undervalued and marginalized by socially-constructed barriers of gender, race, body type, age, or economic status. We live in a time of a global pandemic, extreme political division, racial tension, and environmental irresponsibility. Like passengers on a vessel, we navigate through precarious and oppressive times, uncertain of when or how the turbulence will end. On the horizon we search for the momentum and means to rise buoyantly above the threatening waves.

My art tells stories that acknowledge the immensity of our physical and emotional inadequacies, the burdens we bear, and our many vulnerabilities.  It also celebrates the buoyant strength of the human spirit to hope and persevere as we rise above the ashes to overcome obstacles. My intimate interactions as a daughter, mother, nurturer, friend, wife, and teacher inspire universal narratives about our collective human search for resilience and purpose.


Upcoming Exhibits

Chanakarn Semachai (Punch)
8/2/24 to 9/28/24
Lincoln Modern Quilt Guild
9/6/24 to 10/26/24
11/1/24 to 12/28/24
Multiple Mediums
1/3/25 to 2/28/25
Fiber / Textiles

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