I am an artist who lives and works in Cleveland Ohio. I was born in Denmark but have lived in the United States for most of my life. I am a graduate of Antioch College. I am also an Army veteran who served in S. Korea and in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Nature presents itself in a dizzying array of organic shapes and structures. From the graceful spiral arms of galaxies to the nebulous webs created by tree roots, to the hexagonal geometry of honeycomb – the structures of nature are wondrous creations where beauty meets function, and the repeating of simple patterns enigmatically give rise to complexity. The main emphasis of my artwork is to recreate the grandeur and complexity of natural structures. Whereas some artists paint two-dimensional representations of bushes, flowers, or other naturally occurring elements onto canvas, my work instead, recreates such naturally occurring structures through the crafting of organic sculptural forms. My work also explores how beauty and complexity emerge from the repetition of simple forms.
My unconventional forms are matched if not exceeded by my use of unconventional materials and technique. Most of my work is breaded with oatmeal. The oatmeal along with sand and plaster gives my work a textural quality not seen in other works of sculpture. The oatmeal also acts as a sponge that soaks up the various dyes I use to obtain my colors. This gives my work a strange vibrancy and natural blending of tones, as opposed to the plastic feel acrylic paint would give were I to use that as an external covering. Many of my organic looking sculptures are created through a method of layering. This is similar to the way rings are formed on a tree, the difference being that my sculptures grow vertically from a “genetic blueprint” as opposed to trees which grow outward from an inner ring. Another technique I use so as a to get spontaneous and erratic organic shapes is to use fire to shape my smaller pieces. These pieces are then combined by the thousands to create complex organic forms. This technique imprints nature onto my work by capturing the windy conditions during the moment of creation. The windier the day, the more chaotic my individual pieces look. And lastly, my artwork pushes the boundaries of unconventional materials by using such materials as: cardboard, egg cartons, dryer sheets, yarn and other textiles, cardboard tubes, railroad gravel, sand, salt, and of course oatmeal.
In summation, my work grapples with how complexity is created out of the repetition of simple shapes, showcases the structural qualities inherent in nature, is a study in the use of unconventional materials, and lastly, explores through the repetitive process of labor, the relationship between monotonous work, skill, and the haphazard and organic ways in which forms take shape.
Solo Art Shows And Dual Art Shows
--Biosynthesis: The Art of Jonah Jacobs and Betsy Cavalier-Casey. Kent State Downtown Gallery. Jan. 19 – Feb. 25th 2017.
--Emergent Biomes. Olin Art gallery at Washington and Jefferson College. Washington PA. Nov. 4th – Dec. 4th 2016.
--Morphology: Peridium, Internode, Polyp. Columbus Cultural Arts Center. Columbus Ohio. April 2nd-30th 2016.
--Post Human Biomes at Journey art gallery. Canton Ohio. March 21st-May 12th 2015.
--Invasive Biomes at MadLab gallery. Columbus Ohio. July 11th- Aug 2nd. 2014.
--Mimesis: Sculptural works by Jonah Jacobs and Rebecca Cross. (Dual show) Survival Kit gallery. Cleveland Oh. Sept – Nov. 2011.
--Un-natural Selections (solo show) at Studio 2091. Cuyahoga Falls Oh. January 7- 28th. 2011.
–Fragmentation: Seed, Spore, and Polyp at William Rupnik gallery. Cleveland oh. 44103 22 Jan. - 14 Feb. 2010 (First major solo show.)
Group Art Shows
--After the Pedastal. Sculpture Center. Cleveland Oh. June 9th- Aug. 4th. 2017.
--Pillars of Creation. Satellite Gallery. Collinwood Oh. June 2nd – July 31st. 2017.
--Recycle. Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. Brroklyn N.Y. May 13th to June 18th 2017.
--Waterloo Arts Fest Juried Exhibition. Collinwood Oh. June 3rd to July 22nd, 2016.
--Rooms to Let. Slavic Village. Cleveland Ohio. May. 2016
--Inaugural Juried Exhibition at Riffe Gallery. Columbus Ohio. Nov. 5 – Jan. 9 2016.
--Bottled Water at Waterloo Arts. Collinwood Ohio. Sept-Oct. 2015.
--Warerloo Arts Juried and Members show at Waterloo Arts. Collinwood Ohio. June-July 2015.
--May Show at Lakeland Community College. Kirtland Ohio. May-July 2015
--Stand Up at Doubting Thomas gallery. Tremont Ohio. Nov. 14- 30th. 2014.
--Impossible Gardens III at Satellite gallery. Colliwood, Ohio. Nov. 7th- Jan. 2015.
--Ohio Art League Fall Juried Exhibition at McConnell Arts Center. Worthington Ohio. 30 Oct.-4Jan. 2015.
--Impossible Gardens II at Studio 2091. Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. June 2013.
--May Show at Lakeland Community College. Kirtland, Ohio. May- July 2013.
--Collinwood Artist Residency Program. Collinwood, Ohio. March-June 2013.
--Impossible Gardens. Translations Gallery. Canton Ohio. April 2013.
--OhioArt League Curated Exhibition (curated by Dennis Harrington). Riffe gallery. Columbus Ohio. Jan. 31- April 14, 2013.
--Discarted: recycled art exhibition. West Woods Nature Center. Chardon Ohio. Jan.26 – March 2013.
--Collinwood Storefront Competition. Collinwood Ohio. Dec. 2012 – Jan. 2013.
--Pittsburgh vs.Cleveland show at the Zaller building. Collinwood Ohio. June 2012.
--Spring Show at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Curated by the Ohio Art League. Columbus Ohio. June 2012.
--May Show at Lakeland Community College. Kirtland Oh. 18 May – 20 July 2012.
--Controversy art show at Zaller gallery. Collinwood Oh. Dec. 2011.
--Lonesome No More presents: 16 Interpretations of Ken Nordine’s Colors. Pink Eye gallery. Cleveland Oh. April – March. 2011.
--Transformations art show at Pop Up Art Gallery. Collinwood Oh. Feb. 2011.
--Lonesome No More art show at Oakland Art Center. Youngstown Oh. Feb. 11th-18th 2011.
-Lonesome No More art show at Wall Eye gallery. Cleveland Oh. Oct. 2010.
--Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition at the Cox Center for Arts. Columbus Oh. August 2010.
(Won an Ohio Arts Council award for artistic excellence in fiber arts.)
--Artmart at Spaces gallery. Cleveland Oh. April 2010.
–Select pieces on view at Lava Lounge. Tremont Onio. Nov. 2009.
–Erie Prom art auction at Spaces gallery. Cleveland Ohio. Nov. 2009.
–DiscARTed (recycled art exhibition) at the West Woods Nature Center. Russell Ohio. Nov. 2009- Jan. 210.
–$50 Dollar Hollar at the Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. June 2009.
–4th Anniversary Show at the Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. May 2009.
–Artmart at Spaces gallery. Cleveland Ohio. April. 2009.
–“Green” art show at the Brecksville center for the arts. Brecksville Ohio. April-May. 2009.
–Untitled solo show at The Enclave. Willoughby Ohio. Nov.-Dec. 2008.
--Sensory Feast at 2nd April gallery. Canton Ohio. Sept. 2008
–Blasphemy show at Doubting Thomas gallery. Tremont Ohio. Aug.-Sept. 2008.
–The Bad Apple show at the Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. June-July 2008.
–Your Work 08 at Utrecht Art Supply. Cleveland Heights Ohio. June-July 2008. Won the Community Award at this event.
--The Rule of Three show at Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. May-June 2008.
–Lake County Creative Artists Association show at Lakeland Community College Fine Arts gallery. Kirtland Ohio. May-June 2008. Won 2nd place award in Mixed Media.
–Apollonova AAA show at Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. April-May 2008.
--ArtMart at Spaces Gallery. Cleveland Ohio. March 2008.
–P.S. I Love You show at Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. Feb-March 2008.
–Apollonova A2 show at Asterisk gallery. Cleveland Ohio. Jan. 2008.
–Raw Umber Presents: Layered Journeys at the Malone Building, Akron Ohio. Dec. 2007.
–Halloween show at Pop Shop gallery, Lakewood Ohio. Oct-Nov. 2007.
–Bottle Rocket at Pop Shop gallery, Lakewood Ohio. June 30 th to July 29th. 2007.
–Your Work 07 at Utrecht. Cleveland Heights Ohio. June 2007
–Pop, Drop, and Roll at Pop Shop gallery, Lakewood Ohio. May 19th to June 23rd 2007.
--Artmart at Spaces Gallery, Cleveland Ohio. March 2007
--Art at the Center. A collaborative effort between the Polish-American center and Spaces Gallery, Cleveland Ohio. September 2006.
--Artmart at Spaces Gallery, Cleveland Ohio. March 2006.
--June Art Review (JAR) at the Galleria, Cleveland Ohio. June-August 2006.
--Salon Des Refuses at the Galleria, Cleveland Ohio. (This show was part of Cleveland’s first annual Ingenuity Festival). Sept. 2005
Award and Achievements
--Best of show award in the Waterloo Arts Fest Juried exhibition (2016), juried by Rob Lehr: Director of Marketing, Canton Art Museum & Gallery Director/Curator, Summit Artspace Gallery. Only 36 art pieces were selected out of a total of 396 pieces. Artists submitted work from 24 states, two Canadian provinces, and the District of Columbia.
--Awarded a rare three month Residency in Collinwood Ohio from March until June of 2013. During this residency six artists were awarded space and a stipend to create art in an under-utilized apartment building. All of the artist’s work was on display during the annual Collinwood art festival.
--In August 2010 I won an Ohio Arts Council award for fiber arts at the Cox Center for arts in Columbus Ohio.
--In 2015 I participated in the first annual juried art show at Riffe gallery in Columbus Ohio. Only 59 artists out of a total of over 400 applicants were selected to participate in this show. Less than 15% of applicants were accepted. Earlier in 2015 I also participated in an art show at Waterloo Arts in Collinwood Ohio where only 1/3 of applicants were accepted. I received an honorable mention in this show which put my work in the top three out of more than 300 applicants. In 2014 and 2015 I was fortunate enough to be selected to attend the annual May show at Lakeland Community college which generally accepts less than 1/5 of all entrants. And most recently I was chosen to participate in a Brooklyn N.Y. art show in which out of 587 applicants only 65 art pieces were chosen. That is an acceptance rate of around 11 %.
--My artwork has been featured in two art book publications: The Pattern Base and a book which showcased upcycled designs. My work was also shown in a London based art zine: Average Arts.
--3rd solo show at MadLab gallery. My work was personally chosen by the Ohio Art League for their first show at MadLab to feature a member of their organization. The Invasive Biomes show was seen from 11 July until Aug. 9th.
–First major solo show at William Rupnik gallery in Cleveland. The show was up from January 22nd - February 14, 2010. Almost two years in the making, this show featured several large scale installation pieces and several medium sized organic looking compositions. This show not only showcased my current abilities as an artist, but also hinted at the scope and complexity of future installation pieces.
--In Sept. 2011 had a dual show at Survival Kit gallery in Cleveland with Kent State professor Rebecca Cross.
–Won the “Community Choice award at the 2008 Utrecht “Your Work” show.
–Won 2nd place in Mixed Media at the Creative Artists Association at Lakeland Community College Fine Arts Gallery. 2008.
--Northcoast Collective’s Youngstown show was featured in the local newspaper and on the following website: http://valley24.com/news/2011/jan/28/oakland-gallery-host-traveling-arts-exhibition/
--A picture of one of my art pieces along with a brief description of my artwork was featured in the Sun News. The article concerned the April “Green” art show at the Brecksville center for the arts. The article can be viewed online at: http://www.cleveland.com/sunnews/index.ssf/2009/04/brecksville_center_for_the_art_6.html
--A picture of my installation piece Input/Output was featured in an article in the Falls News Press. In this article there was also talk of my recent solo show “Un-natural Selections”.