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Photo of Jenifer Thoem

Jenifer Thoem

Rome, GA, United States

I was raised on a farm in the foothills of the N. Georgia Mountains where red clay was abundant and creativity was encouraged by my hippie parents. As a very young child, I dug clay from my yard to make shoes for my cats, because I thought it would help them walk thru the blackberry bushes safely. I knew from an early age that creating and building with my hands was the ONLY thing that came natural to me. I was a Fine Arts Major at Georgia Southern University and graduated with a degree in Ceramics in 1994. I immediately began a career as an artist and developed a body of work that I sold on the show circuit and to galleries for nearly 15 years. In 2011 I moved to Chicago where I ran a ceramics studio outside of the city. I began to feel unconnected to my "old" body of work which seemed to have defined me and my career for so long. I had changed, had 3 amazing children, moved cross country twice, dealt with the ups and downs of life for years, but my work was the ONLY thing that had not changed. I decided at that point to let go of the past, grieve my old self and move on to develop a body of work that I felt connected to. As hard as it was, I worked..PLAYED.. in my studio for 3 years with the mindset of creating, not what would sell at my shows and to my galleries, but out of a response to life's joys, challenges, changes etc. In 2015, my beautiful 14 year old daughter began a heart wrenching fight with depression. I suddenly began to question where I, her mother, went wrong and how I could fix it. Did I forget to teach her that loving herself was as important as helping a friend or sharing a playground swing? Did I care more about how she treated her school mates than how she treated herself? How much control does a mother have over the way her daughter views herself and others? Was she born not liking who she saw in the mirror? Is anyone ever satisfied... for that matter? And so, as we walked through that journey together, a new body of work was born. My work deals with the ordinary, simpleness of life that often times eludes our day. Something as common as a nose, can be unrecognizable when it's out of context with the norm. I have since moved from Chicago to my home town in Georgia (teenage girls and all) to get back to a simple life. We recently bought a small farm in the country where simplicity, quiet, & thankfulness, is mandatory. I travel around the US selling my work at Art Shows.. taking every opportunity I can, to let young people know that the filter in which we view ourselves and others MATTERS!!

Jenifer's ArtPrize Entries

These are Jenifer's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

  • Photo of Beyond the Obvious

    Beyond the Obvious

    2018 ArtPrize Entry Jenifer Thoem
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