“Friends & Relations” Artist Talk

Mixed-Media Sculptures by Jodie Fink and Jennifer Place

Final day of the exhibit on Sunday, June 12th – with artists Jodie Fink & Jennifer Place giving a talk about their work at 5pm.

Hoboken Historical Museum – 1301 Hudson Street.

“Hoboken artists Jennifer Place and Jodie Fink have been friends for so long, it’s hard for them to remember exactly when and where they met, but their long, close friendship is evident in the simpatico evolution of their artwork. They are collaborating on a show of about two dozen sculptures in the shapes of faces, figures, and pets, made of recycled found objects from the streets of Hoboken.

Old burner grills from gas stoves, muffler parts, a turkey bone, a tool handle, a computer motherboard, bits of rusty things-all come together in surprisingly animated and thought-provoking “portraits.” The show is playfully named Friends and Relations, though they doubt anyone will recognize themselves in these works. The exhibit opens on Sunday, Apr. 30, with a free opening reception from 2 – 5 p.m.

The two women both moved to Hoboken in 1983, attracted by a thriving arts community with plentiful studio and gallery space and art festivals. They first met in the late ’80s and had exhibits in the same group shows in places like the Jefferson Trust building and the “O’roe” Gallery.”

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They had much in common: Fink, who started as a photographer then moved on to collage and mixed media, was starting to branch into sculpture after a stint in an art colony in France. Place focused mostly on drawing and printmaking, and found herself similarly drawn to more layered compositions. In the early ’90s, they collaborated on a chair-themed exhibit: Fink contributed found-object sculptures that functioned both as chairs and as wind chimes. Jennifer exhibited drawings of chairs. For a while, they formed Found Sound, a sideline art venture selling wind chimes at local festivals.

Recycling cast-off items into art has become second nature to them. In their everyday walks through Hoboken, their eyes are drawn to ordinary objects whose shape, color or texture might fill a need in a particular piece they’re working on, or inspire the next piece. Both continue to pursue art with a passion, although both have full-time jobs. Fink earned a Masters degree in social work and now has a practice in Hoboken-and raised a daughter. Place is a full-time corporate graphic designer. They can’t imagine life without an art problem to solve. “I love a blank wall,” Fink says, and Place says she enjoys scavenging for objects and giving them a new purpose, “it satisfies some hunter-gatherer instinct.”

On the last day of the exhibit, the artists will give a talk about their work, Sunday, Jun. 12 at 5 p.m. The exhibit is supported by a block grant from the State/County Partnership program for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.
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