Artist Statement

These pieces are from a body of work that I call ‘Retrofits.’ Retro, because they are made of existent things from the past, and fits because the process of creating them akin to putting an outfit together. Retrofits are wall hanging sculptures made from everyday objects that I have collected. They feature bright colors, interactive elements, and unique methods of construction and repurposing. The works are complex, woven collages of items including clothing, bags, toys, home decor and craft supplies.

I have always loved stuff, and Retrofits are an exploration of all of the complex emotions involved in collecting, owning, transporting, organizing, and living with lots of stuff. I am fascinated by the wasteful nature of contemporary culture, and my work springs from my desire to rescue the discarded and devalued. My compositions collage items together based on ties of color, theme, or just vibes. I use embroidery, adhesive, paint, and weaving to build the works complex color relationships and subject matter. My methods fuse my fine art training with all the crafty skills I’ve picked up doing DIYs and house projects over the years. Everything belongs in my artwork - it is an opportunity for unwanted and useless things to change contexts. Retrofits are reliquaries for stuff too quickly passed in and out of a life. They are a retired from their original purpose, and elevated to the importance and permanence of art.

Education

2004-2006
BA Studio Art & BA Art History, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

2002-2004
BFA candidate, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Residencies

2022
The Good Supply, Pemaquid, ME - included site specific installation, group show, and assistantship to artist Cindy Pease Roe

Bibliography

2022
Rising Stars: Meet Jessie Renew, SC Voyager Magazine The Good Supply Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary with a ‘Whale Club’, Lincoln County News

Hilton Head Island beautifies Lowcountry Celebration Park, WJCL