Jared Peterson – Red Lodge Clay Center

Jared PetersonMorgantown, West Virginia

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Red Lodge Clay Center – Long-Term Resident 2019 – 2021, Short-Term Resident 2016, (ASPN) 2017

Jared Peterson was born in Silver City, New Mexico but spent his formative years in West “By God” Virginia. A graduate of West Virginia University in English and Ceramics, Jared is proud of his South Western and Appalachian roots and explores them in poetry and ceramic art. Traveling throughout the world to pursue his love for art and English, Jared was a multiple time short-term resident at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana; studied ceramics abroad in Jingdezhen, China; and recently fulfilled a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) grant in Perak, Malaysia. In conjunction with making ceramics and writing, Jared has a deep fascination with cultural icons like Macho Man Randy Savage and Dennis Rodman and frequently incorporates their ideas in his work. When without a pen or studio, Jared loves being outside, making quick witted jokes with friends, and most of all, petting a good dog.

If you’ve met me, I’ve likely called you dog as an adopted term of respect. Dogs have infiltrated our lives through language in ways we seldom think about; hangdog, hair-of-the-dog, dog tired, sick-as-a-dog, bitch are all commonplace terms in American English. We even refer to our feet as our dogs. How can one word mean so much? How can each meaning have such different connotations? Why can we associate so many things with dogs?

As a poet and a visual artist, I am fascinated by language and narrative. My work employs an array of characters and motifs that explore aspects of my identity. With the dog as the leading role, a stand-in for myself, I navigate through cacti and cow skulls, mail boxes and fence posts, exploring my Mexican heritage, identity as a West Virginian, and life in rural and suburban America. I incorporate dogs in my work because I am as complex as the prolificacy of dogs in the world— like all people. From good dogs and bad dogs to homedogs and wild dogs my work celebrates my mistakes, shortcomings, and contradictions through sculpture.

My style is derived from my vast array of influences. but language and pop culture icons uphold the breadth of my interests. Subjects as vast as the story of Christ, William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, or the unworldly style of Macho Man Randy Savage, Dennis Rodman, and Jesco White each have equal footing in the hierarchy of my influence. My work aims to bring all of these forces together, one dog at a time.