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 Jackie (Jaquline) Hurlbert  (21st century)

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Lived/Active: Oregon      Known for: symbolic, abstract ceramics, painting

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Jackie (Jaquline) Hurlbert
An example of work by Jackie (Jaquline) Hurlbert
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Brumfield LLC:
Jackie Hurlbert’s ceramics are not narrative in the sense that they tell a story, but the visual language that she uses is intended to communicate something beyond representation or pure aesthetics. She has created a vocabulary of symbolism, where over-sized feet denote the strength to stand alone, and exaggerated hands beckon you to step inside yourself.

The surface of these sculptures are first glazed with a dark charcoal gray, emphasizing the form and acting as under-painting or a sketch for the painted surface that is then applied. As painting is such an integral part of Jackie Hurlbert’s process, it is not surprising to discover that this activity also spills out on to surfaces more conventionally associated with the medium. What is surprising is that she has rarely shown these paintings. She has kept this as a private preoccupation – a therapy of sorts.

Pentimento is the faint trace evidence of alterations in painting – a ghost image of a previous version documenting the journey of the artist’s mind with in the patina of the painted surface. This notion of reworking over past thoughts and inclinations, and the truth that these formative elements are never truly obliterated, are concepts that inform the way in which Jackie Hurlbert works. These past histories are important to the way in which the artist develops her content and imagery. She will rework a painting many times, often resulting in an entirely different picture than that which first inhabited her consciousness at the beginning of her endeavor. These layers of unseen narrative may only be fully known by the artist.

Jackie Hurlbert is an established artist from Portland showing in art galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southwestern states. She currently has work featured in the ‘In Our Element’ show, which forms part of an exhibition program at Portland’s International Airport.

Artist Statement:

"It’s crazy out there. So I retreat to my inside world. The one where I can breathe and calm myself. Clay serves as the vehicle for my meditation; it speaks without words. Everything that I feel is automatically transferred to the clay through my hands. This is my voice, not heard but seen. I invite you to communicate with me through visual imagery, creating a dialogue between yourself and the work.

Oversized feet symbolize the strength to stand alone in the face of opposition. An admirable concept to believe in but not always an easy one to live by. I’m not just talking about the “big” issues of the day either, I’m talking about the decisions we make on a daily basis that define who we are and what we believe in. 

The figures with outstretched, exaggerated hands beckon you to step inside yourself. The hands are presenting and offering, a gift of personal insight.

Many of the figures are in costume; this reflects my ongoing investigation of the many personalities and attitudes that reside inside each one of us. I’m not the same person I was yesterday . . . and yet I am. I am changed by each new experience but yet the essence of who I am remains. I enjoy playing this game of cat and mouse with myself.

The clay speaks and I listen, this body of work is the result of that silent conversation."

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