Jen Dwyer

Jen Dwyer grew up in the Bay Area, California and attended University of Washington in Seattle, WA, where she received dual bachelor degrees in Ceramics and Environmental Science and a minor in Art History. She finished her MFA in May 2019 from University of Notre Dame where she received a Full Fellowship in Ceramics with a Gender Studies Minor. Dwyer has partaken in many residencies and fellowships, some of which include the Pottery Center in Jingdezhen, China; Salem Art Works, in upstate New York; a fellowship at Wassaic Projects in Upstate New York; and is a current artist-in-resident at the Museum of Art and Design. In Dwyer’s current practice she creates quasi-functional ceramic sculptures and paintings that serve as vignettes for her sculptures. When she’s not in the studio, Dwyer loves to run and do hot yoga. 

Artist Gallery

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Artist Statement

The Female Gaze is an alternative way of seeing that represents everyone as a subject and acknowledges that people have their own complicated narratives. With this idea in mind, I construct fanciful, porcelain vessels and sculptures housed within my installations adorned with acrylic and oil paintings, that merge iconography from prehistoric imagery, (such as the Venus of Willendorf, which was thought to be a self-portrait of the artist), with the Rococo Aesthetic, infused with contemporary feminist themes. I create an amalgamation of ceramic sculptures and paintings to examine contemporary socially constructed notions of identity by invoking the female gaze. The Female Gaze, coined by Jill Soloway, was created in response to Laura Mulvey’s theorization of “the Male Gaze,” which is when cinematic depictions of women are seen as objects of male pleasure. The Female Gaze is an alternative way of seeing; a way of looking/representing that seeks to give everyone agency and make everyone a subject. Rococo art was created in reaction to boredom with the serious Baroque style, and instead opted to depict humor, wit, emotion, and whimsy. Characterized by its light-heartedness, the Rococo presents itself at a more intimate scale, often in private spaces. I aim to create otherworldly Installations, filled with my ceramic sculptures, to blur the barriers between the private and public, subject and object, and self and others.