Artist Statement: 

This piece speaks to power and persistence of nature; systems of growth and decay that have evolved over millennia. As a mere blip in the evolution of our planet, we need to be aware of our footprint on the environment and how we effect our climate.

Reclaimed by the Beast

A collector lies underfoot,
Awaiting idleness and neglect.
Adorned with decay and the discarded,
Her resolve grows unchecked.

A squandered state,
The forgotten waste,
Our hoards she finds appalling.
But little do we know our apathy is her calling.

A centuries gust,
Her breath we do not see.
The uncontrolled heat,
Flood indignation from decade’s plea.  

A fallen branch,
Uprooted stump,
Growl, crack, crash.
Her long-refined processes are interrupted by our trash.

Agitated by effectiveness,
She reveals her face as a warning.
Consider how you tread,
Or your plight may be her dawning. 

Eternally busy,
Her nature undeterred.
For she is contracted to decay,
Her mission now decides who goes and who can stay.

Meet the Artist: 

Jess Thayer

Jess Thayer

Jess Thayer is a ceramic artist and landscape designer working in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

In addition to designing residential landscapes, she also teaches ceramics and environmental art at community art centers and through after-school programming at various locations around Cincinnati.

While earning degrees in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture, she escaped to the art department to learn other mediums and fell in love with clay, metal, natural wood forms and the Environmental Art movement. In 2013, she started her own business – Contours & Clay. Inspired by artists who transform landscapes and spaces through art, she works to combine her passion for pottery and the natural world by exploring the unseen or unnoticed natural processes and highlighting their accessibility.

“The creative process and the scientific method are one in the same, discovery is what connects them. In my work, I combine the natural patterns and processes of the earth with the ornate functionality of humanity that is hardware. Through object reuse and by bringing the gallery outside, the act of creating art can reconnect people with the Earth, finding empathy and balance.”

In the Summer of 2021, Jess plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Art Education to advance her goal of teaching environmental education through art. She looks forward to continuing her journey to improve her community through creative event planning, engaging artworks, quirky landscapes, and environmental art education. Jess and her husband Josh have enjoyed living in Westwood since 2009 and continue that journey with their two boys, their dog and thousands of bees.

Find more of Jess’ work on Facebook, Instagram, or on her website