A Visual Arts major at Brown University, Jennifer Avery is enamored with the performance of art, no matter what the medium. In fact, they love to incorporate theatre into their art, where they say, “even in sculpture there is performance.” They draw their work from various psychological states and dreams, and often reimagine fairy-tales. But, they say “I believe in living life as a work of art. Everything can be art- I take inspiration from everything.”
Jennifer spent a few years in touring bands, performing theatre, and doing puppetry prior to coming to Brown. For Jennifer, each artistic project, regardless of the medium, represents “different pasts, different events, and different Jennifers.” Their artistic endeavors have been a natural way for them to heal, and a way to challenge others to heal through art, as well. No matter what they’re doing, they “have to make things- it’s this crazy crazy obsessive drive.”
When asked if sense of place is a source of inspiration for them, Jennifer explained that they had moved around a lot their whole life and prefer to curate their environment into something of their own. They recounted an enlightening four month stay in France where they worked on a project in the woods: “It was incredible. I was the first American to receive this artist residency at Hermes.” The Hermes artist residency invites young artists to start, finish, and exhibit a brand new project. Jennifer’s project reimagined little red riding hood and was a way in which Jennifer transformed their environment to inspire their work.
Other environments that Jennifer likes to intertwine with their work are thrift shops and cemeteries. In fact, Jennifer completed a year-long performance piece that included wearing a different thrifted dress everyday. At the completion of this project, Jennifer exhibited photographs of each outfit and let viewers try on the 365 dresses that she had purchased. Evidently, all of Jennifer’s projects have different processes that require various lengths of time. However, each of their pieces go through periods of “create it, love it, and destroy it.” They destroy their work to avoid becoming “too precious with it.”
Art is a natural way for Jennifer to function. They believe in living life as a work of art and that everyone is an artist. Brown University has ultimately helped their visual arts career, but their education has helped Jennifer’s personal growth for years prior. Jennifer enjoys making art that transforms the space around them. Ultimately, Jennifer describes their work as “a playfully provocative and sometimes a disturbingly whimsical puncture of reality.”