"Growing up in Appalachia has had everything to do with shaping my work, but I've only come to realize this in the last few years," said Jackson Martin '07, who lived on a commune on the very edge of the region until age 10. The insight he gained as a child is immediately evident in the Rinehart School of Sculpture graduate's installation and sculptural works, which blend the natural elegance of organic materials with the finite modernity of man-made mediums.
Among other accolades, Martin's work was chosen by the Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan for display during ArtPrize 2010, and he was invited to install one of his works in the sculpture park at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. His work was also featured in Sculpture magazine in both 2008 and 2009.
Martin now lives with his wife and daughter in Charleston, South Carolina where he teaches at the College of Charleston and works for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. He considers the skills he learned at MICA to be the foundation of his ability to be a good teacher and guide. His plans for 2012 include an installation titled Moving Mountains for South Korea's Jara Island International Baggat Art Exhibition as well as several other shows.
"Appalachia will always influence my work because it is at the foundation of who I am, and I will never escape that," he said. "I look forward to my new surroundings, not because I hope to get away from who I am, but rather because I am excited about how it will merge and meld with what I already bring to the table."