Jennifer Higerd grew up in a small town in Northwest Kansas. She received her BA cum laude in French, Political Science, and International Studies from Kansas State University and a Diplôme d’Études Françaises (Diploma of French Studies) from the Université de Rennes II in Rennes, France. She earned a BFA cum laude in Graphic Design and an MFA in Ceramics from Fort Hays State University.
She has travelled extensively in Western Europe, particularly in France, and taught in the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In the U.S., Jennifer has taught a variety of subjects to high school students, hearing impaired students, college students, and adult learners.
Her work has been exhibited in regional and national juried competitions. She is an Art Instructor at East Central College in Union, Missouri. (Her Resume will fill you in on all the details.)
In ceramics, I’m pursuing two conceptually similar, but visually unrelated veins. On the one hand, I’m exploring abstracted organic shapes, the circle in particular. The symbolism of the circle as well as its form, is rich in potential. The circle represents wholeness and completion and the cyclical aspect of life. Ever present in nature, the circle is the shape of atoms and cells upwards to the grandeur of planets and their orbits.
The other vein of my work incorporates plant parts, as well as allusions to religious objects as a means to create a refuge from the chaos of the world. Plant forms are a metaphor for human life cycles: life and death, growth and decay, reproduction and fertility. I build architectural forms that call to mind objects of religious rites. I mean to suggest such things as our connection to something bigger than the individual, to allude to the mystical and mysterious, and to emphasize the symbolism laden rites and rituals that, in their slow and deliberate nature, add meaning to a chaotic world.
My goal is to create space, a sense of repose, an escape from the chaos of the modern world. The viewer is invited into a quiet place to reflect on the work and its meaning. The decoration and patterns are intended to be meditative, much in the same way a labyrinth was used. As the eye circles and examines the patterns of the piece, the viewer slows down and is drawn in. The works are thus quiet and introspective and provide a refuge.