Brooklyn-based artist Jessica Baker creates prints on paper, prints on leaves, two and three-dimensional work, and site-specific installations. She collects fallen leaves, seeds, flowers, branches and other fallen materials from trees to build an archive of medium and design. Foliage renders a dynamic color palette. Similarly, Baker often works with the circle—nature’s perfect form—to display organic subject matter and shape.
First, she experimented by using circular copper plate etchings to print directly on a leaf: later, she created monotypes by printing leaves on leaves to juxtapose each leaf’s individual aesthetic qualities. Actual leaves with prints on them are adhered to archival museum board with archival glue to promote the longevity of the artworks and ensure lasting images that lyrically depict an anomaly of a natural process (stunting decomposition) but continue to evolve on surface (portraying the change of color).
Most-interestingly, Baker’s work alludes to our collective concept of natural material and our individual memories of these found objects: sensation of ramping through mounds of autumn leaves as a child, smell of a certain flower, sound of walking on crisp Honey Locust Tree Seed Pods, sight of hovering Whirlybird Seeds. Conceptually, Baker plays with the found object by using organic, not manmade, pieces as art objects, themselves, or as parts strung together building ephemeral mobiles that truly capture overlooked moments.
Baker graduated with honors from the University of Rochester, NY, obtaining a B.A. in the History of Art in 1989. In 1998, Baker studied with the resident Buddhist Monk and Artist at the Phaplu Monastery and Shechen Monastery in Nepal. During this time, she also took classes in Figure Drawing at New York Studio School, NY. In 2005, she was awarded an etching fellowship at the Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY, a formative and important experience in which her artistic purview expanded from studio work to printmaking. She has since taken additional print and bookmaking classes at the Center for Book Arts.
Baker has been awarded a number of artist residencies including The Julia and David White Artists’ Colony, Artistic Residency, Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica; Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Site Artist-in-Residence, Skagway, AK; Weir Farm Trust Artist-in-Residence, Wilton, CT. Her work is included in international institutional collections, such as: Friends & Cancer Foundation (In Marjolein’s Memory); Galeria Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica; Klondike; Gold Rush National Historic Park, Skagway, AK; Lifebridge Foundation, High Falls, NY. Baker has participated in a number of solo and group shows nationally and internationally and in the past two years, she has created three site-specific installations in Brooklyn and New York City. Venues that she has exhibited at include, but are not limited to: New Art Center, New York, NY; the Prospect Park Audubon Center at the Boat House, Brooklyn, NY, Hofstra University Museum, Long Island, NY, Lifebridge Foundation and Sanctuary, High Falls, NY, Soapbox Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, and; Galeria Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica. Her work has been featured on National Public Radio and various blogs and websites like Apartmenttherapy.com, and favorably reviewed by publications like The New York Times and The Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
From January to March 2012, Jessica Baker exhibited an intricate site-specific, street-level window installation at 34 W. 38th Street titled Winter Look that was presented by the Fashion Center Space for Public Art in New York City. In September 2012 the artist presented a new site-specific, street-level window installation at 45 Main Street for the DUMBO Arts Festival titled DUMBO Nature that was presented by the DUMBO Arts Festival. Baker’s work has also appeared in group exhibitions throughout New York City. In 2011 she participated in a three-person group show titled Dreams and Realities in Daily Life, curated by Mary Pinto for Art Connects in Queens, New York. In 2012 Baker’s work appeared in Bloom Time, a group show curated by Mary Pinto for the Holiday Inn Manhattan View, located in Long Island City, New York. Jessica Baker currently has three prints on loan to an exhibit called Wishes and Dreams that is on view at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Infusion Gallery in Brooklyn.