Melanistic Farmer II
- Stoneware, Glaze
- 17" x 15" x 13"
"This squirrel-human hybrid carries an oxygen tank on its back. What does our future hold when deforestation and intensive chemical farming practices have reached a pinnacle? Will our bodies adapt and produce more melanin to cope with stronger UV radiation from a diminished ozone layer? Will our lungs absorb enough oxygen in a chemical-laden environment?"
- Karen Jaimes
This sculpture ships in three parts—the head, the torso, and the oxygen mask.
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Karen Jaimes is a Latina artist who was raised single-handedly by her Salvadoran mother in downtown Yonkers, NY, which was an impoverished concrete jungle in the 80s and 90s. Many of her peers were first generation students whose parents emigrated to the city due to instability in their homeland. As the daughter of a Civil War refugee, Karen navigated two cultures and languages in a multicultural city. The non-profit art programs at nearby museums, a loving community of matriarchs, and the well-rounded curriculum of Manhattanville College led her to value arts education, social justice, and community outreach. KJ is an artist-activist-educator who sculpts clay to address sociopolitical issues and question the systems in place. The transhistorical and transcultural nature of clay makes it the perfect material for metaphor.
Karen holds a MFA in ceramics from SUNY New Paltz and a BFA from Manhattanville College with a minor in political science. She is an enthusiastic ceramics teacher who enjoys sharing her knowledge of clay’s vast properties that span across many fields, including anthropology, geology, and chemistry.
Her sculptures have been exhibited in the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, the Katonah Museum of Art, the Barrett Art Center and the Dorsky Museum of Art among others.