Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Relevant Distance by  The Capricious Bend by Jazzmyne Sims (BA in Art senior) and Luisiana Mera (BFA in Fine Art junior) at WAG, suite 77 in the downtown Arcade, on Saturday, December 6, 6 to 9 p.m., as part of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

In The Capricious Bend, it is very important to me that viewers experience the structure as well as the material it is formed with. I want the construction of the pieces to be obvious. I want the viewer to see the decision-making that went into it as well as the process of creation.

Instead of manipulating something drastically to become a thing that it is not, I push for letting that thing be just what is. This is why I love working with wood. The material responds in a very direct way.

With my work, it is very important to me that it’s never permanent. I don’t use hardware. The only connection devices I use are clamps. Clamps are mobile and impermanent, giving me freedom to be mobile and experimental with the structures. This way of working is perfect for me. It gives me a way to explore and create while still staying true to the materials, the process and myself.

Depending on the space, I can allow my work to interact with the architecture. It could be something as simple as a pole or the side of a wall. My process allows for on-the-spot change, and I love having that freedom during installation to make those formal decisions.

Two images are from one of the first pieces I ever made, titled “Breakthrough.” I titled it “Breakthrough” because that’s exactly what it was for me – the first time I realized that I was on to something and was actually enjoying it. It was a great feeling. I found an architectural interest and was able to incorporate that immediate structure with the forms that I had made and the clamps that I had.

For the Watkins Arcade Gallery, I am creating a whole new piece just for that space. I’m going through the same process as I did with my “Breakthrough” piece and many other pieces after it. I’ll find a point of architectural interest and build off of that using clamps and wood pieces that I specifically design. Since WAG is relatively small, it’ll create a nice element of interaction between the viewer and the sculpture that doesn’t always happen with my pieces.

Another interest of mine, and a key element in my work, is how the wood bends when tension is applied. There’s a personal, systematic way that I clamp and cut the wood pieces so that they can respond to each other to create that tension. It’s quite fun and interesting how, depending on the space and/or wooden forms, this tension can vary in shape and structure.

I’ve been working with wood constantly for about two years now. Within those two years, I have discovered that there are some woods that work better with what I’m doing. I love using multiple types of wood in each piece that I create, but I noticed that I have a simple kind of love for Baltic birch. It’s consistently through every piece of mine.

—Jazzmyne Sims

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