Jeanne Marie Ferraro
glassblower, sculptor, painter

First there is the outside-learning to see

Then there is the inside….

Growing up in a city which had many voices, I found that listening to the stories that people told through their body movements and facial expressions became my way of learning about the world, about my fellow humans and the way they live. From an early age, listening became a visual experience. I wanted my art to physicalize the stories I hear, to express the nuances my subjects lives and the way their personal stories represent all people.

I have pursued a study in painting and sculpture using a variety of materials to express these stories. Through my exploration of materials and processes I have reevaluated my artistic vision, and have come to the conclusion that glass is the most fulfilling of mediums to express an enhanced physical representation. Glass, like human life, has both strength and fragility. It holds an elegant shape and form. I can direct the light passing through the piece by polishing certain surfaces, giving the sculpture a multi-dimensional expression while guiding the viewer's eye. Glass contains an inherent presence, and more closely resembles the way I see people, their relationships, and their struggles.

In the cast portraits of friends and acquaintances, I strive to convey more than a physical representation. Each portrait is intended to represent a piece of the subject's story, a narrative of their present situation in life. It might be the daydream of a fairy-tale marriage, or that they are hiding from the pain of a difficult childhood, or fighting death while holding on to the strength of love. My aim is to capture this story and tell it visually in a way that is beyond the contemporary shock value we see in so much art. There is substance and beauty in this subtlety, coming together to produce a piece of art that is beyond superficial representation, that becomes more than the life experience of one person but a shared story of many people.

My years of experience, my technical knowledge, and my willingness to experiment with multiple processes and materials have allowed me to realize my artistic voice. I value and utilize all of the sculptural elements of shape, composition, form and balance to produce work that will stand up to time as a beautiful, elegant object. In my painting I work from a relatively bright, fiery palette and experiment with color theory and the way colors react to each other. Thus my artistic purpose; to honor life, emotions, and experiences in a way that will invoke thought and grace. It is the way I see people, from the outside in.

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