Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Jennifer Zingg Creates Sculpture with Gourds at Kentucky Artisan Center
On Saturday, June 6, Jennifer Zingg of Frankfort will demonstrate how she creates sculpture from gourds from 10:30 – 3:30 at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Jennifer Zingg grew up in the small town of Rome, Indiana, and like most small town and rural children, she used the natural materials surrounding her- from creek mud to grapevines - to create art. She states, “Since I was a small child, I have had an innate urge to create. Traditional art materials were limited, so I turned to found natural objects for my early works.” Jennifer came to Kentucky in 1992 to study art at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, and while there, her grandfather gave her a box of gourds. She says that, “she dismissed them as not being a serious medium for art” but kept them for sentimental reasons.
It was after the birth of her second child, that Jennifer remembered the box of gourds given to her by her grandfather. She pulled them out of a closet, found a set of markers and began doodling on the gourds. Five years later and several hundred finished works later, she is still going strong. Jennifer thinks of her work as contemporary folk art. While gourds are a traditional folk art medium, her colors and use of the material in such a sculptural way gives a fresh twist to an old craft
Jennifer is challenged by the versatility of gourds and she cuts and re-attaches them together to form the figures and animals she is trying to represent. Her painting is rich and intricate, and her female sculptural figures which relate the daily activities of women, have a particular visual power. Jennifer carves and pyro-engrave most of her designs adding brilliant color, glass beads, various fibers and wire to give a very detailed and polished appearance.
Jennifer feels it is important for women to be artists, musicians, and writers, and to commemorate and record important events, deep inspiration, and everyday life from a female perspective. She states, “I feel extremely fortunate to live in a society, in a country, where I can express myself artistically. It is significant to me – as there are still many areas of the world where women are considered property, with no rights or the ability to even express an opinion of their own. My hope is to inspire and encourage all women with the desire to create.”
Jennifer is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, the Kentucky Gourd Society, and the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program. Her work has won numerous awards and has been published in Kentucky Living Magazine, Arts Across Kentucky and has been featured on Home and Garden Television.
Works by Jennifer Zingg are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center, located at 975 Walnut Meadow Road, just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The Center’s exhibits, shopping, and travel information areas are all open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the café from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. The Center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from over 100 counties across the Commonwealth. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the Center’s web site at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Artisan Center is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.