Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong is a ceramic artist whose sculptures have a fresh sophistication and modern aesthetic that link fine art with craft. Before devoting herself full-time to ceramics in 2001, Ms. Armstrong spent nearly 20 years as a freelance fashion stylist/editor in Manhattan. Since then, she has developed a signature technique of building black and white porcelain ceramic sculptures to look delicately stitched together.
Ms. Armstrong’s talent has been recognized and her work critically acclaimed. She received an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism in 2008, and was granted prestigious Emerging Artist Awards from American Style Magazine in 2008, Ceramics Monthly in 2007, and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 2005. She won the First Prize in Sculpture in 2008 and 2006 during the “Annual Art of the Northeast USA Exhibition” at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center (New Canaan, CT).
Her porcelain sculptures have been exhibited regionally and nationally at venues including Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, MA), San Angelo Museum of Art (San Angelo, TX), BWAC Gallery (Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY), Phoenix Gallery (NYC), Peninsula Museum of Art (Belmont, CA), Lincoln Arts & Cultural Foundation (Lincoln, CA), Mesa Contemporary Arts (Mesa, AZ), Wayne Art Center (Wayne, PA), Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center (Dowell, MD), Sherrie Galerie (Columbus, OH), Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (Summit, NJ), Fairfield Arts Council (Fairfield, CT), Westport Arts Center (Westport, CT) and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgfield, CT). Her work is included in Brooklyn Museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base (Brooklyn, NY).
Ms. Armstrong holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. She is a juried member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists (New Canaan, CT). She currently lives in Westport and maintains a studio in Bridgeport, CT.
STATEMENT - I AM SHE
In this exhibition, I examine issues relating to feminism past, present and future, exploring the causes of gender based violence and inequality, from both a personal and global perspective.
My interest in women’s issues began at an early age. As a young girl, in the 70’s, I petitioned my elementary school to allow girls to wear pants. I argued that the rule was preposterous, gender biased and particularly punitive to girls during the cold winter months. The rule was changed and I learned through this first taste of empowerment that one person could effect positive change.
Today, in many parts of the world, modern advances in technology and communication collide with traditional religions, cultures and customs and what emerges is a society that is out of step with modern times, particularly issues related to feminism, the causes of which I discover are sometimes surprising. Closer to home, issues of human trafficking and domestic violence compromise our tenuous hold on feminism, the extent of which is underestimated and misunderstood.
Through the use of figurative imagery and my “shoe” installations, I address issues of love, family, conflict, and gender inequality. Some of my sculptures and installations are confrontational and that is my intent: to inspire curiosity, thought and dialogue, to raise awareness, and incite positive action.
STATEMENT - ALTERED LANDSCAPES
I love rocks. This body of work began with photographs I had taken of large bolder size rocks on the beach in Block Island. Concurrently, an idea had been percolating relating to a social statement on climate change, deforestation and the state of our environment. In this body of work (that has just begun) I explore our natural world and landscapes through an altered perspective and also how we (man) have “altered” our landscape. Works to come include printmaking and a photographic survey of a “landscape” mapping time. While I am known as a ceramic sculptor, I am breaking out and using a variety of media in this body of work.
STATEMENT - FOR LEE
In this series, I am using Lee Friedlander photographs of nudes to serve as my source material. I chose his photographs because the women are often composed in interesting, uncontrived positions, appearing at ease with their sensuality. Working simply with the figure, form and abstraction, I begin by creating a maquette, to understand the composition of the figure three dimensionally. As this nascent body of work develops, it will serve as a study of the female figure across the disciplines of sculpture and photography.