UNK Artfaculty: Jake Jacobson

Jake Jacobson

Jake Jacobson - MFA

FAB - 307

Artist Statement

My current works are a continuation of the process of familiar forms and the juxtaposition of these forms and shapes with the use of color/surface that defy or malign perception. This work places emphasis on the container forms and has roots, going back through mans involvement with clay as a functional, decorative and sculptural medium. I grew up in a period of time when Abstract Expressionism was an influence on my work and this still provides influence on my work. I try to capture in the fired work, that moment in the clay when it is soft and malleable forever with the implication of motion. The influences upon me and my work are primary and secondary by nature and education. Primarily influences are the things, ideas, perceptions and people have encountered in my life. The secondary influences are those that have the most presence and visibility in my work. These secondary influences are those, which I developed through my formal years in the study of art. DaDa, Surrealism, and the Precisionist, to name a few. Collectively, within my work there are multiple levels of meaning or interpretation. My works are purposely ambiguous. I am willing to allow viewers to create their own narratives when viewing this work.


My vessels and tea pots are thrown on the potter’s wheel and combined with slab constructed and extruded shapes from a white mid range white stoneware clay body. Bisque firing to cone 01and subsequent glaze firings within a range of 1500 to 1750 degrees F. Most glazes are metal saturate glazes within a high lithium/borate base. The multiple firings (6+) and glaze applications help to develop the irregularities in the surface texture and/or color of the piece.



1970 A.A. Butler Community College, El Dorado, Kansas
1973 B.A. Fort Hays State University, Hays Kansas
1974 M.A. (Sculpture) Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas
1982 M.F.A. (Ceramics) Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas

Jake Jacobson was born and educated in Kansas. After receiving his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Studio Art he pursued a career as a ceramics teacher at Hutchinson Senior High School and night ceramics class at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson Kansas. In 1980 Jake returned to Fort Hays to work on the M.F.A. in ceramics. Completing the M.F.A. degree Jake taught ceramics for one year at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Subsequently leaving Kearney Jake accepted a teaching position at Midland Lutheran College where he taught for three years before returning to the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he has taught ceramics since 1986.

As a practicing professional artist/teacher, Jake Jacobson has exhibited in numerous regional and national exhibitions. Notables include:

  • Ceramics USA - Sova Gallery, Denton Texas
  • Ceramics Now - Downey Museum of Art, Downey, California
  • Clay USA - Radford University Art Center, Radford, Virginia
  • The Clay Cup - Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Illinois
  • The Wichita National - Wichita Art Association, Wichita, Kansas
  • NCECA Juried Members Exhibition - Atlanta, Georgia
  • Vessels Aesthetic Taft College Gallery- Taft, California
  • Whats New In Clay - University of Houston, Houston, Texas
  • January White Sale - Lill Street Gallery. Chicago ,Illinois
  • Form And Function T-Pots - Craft Alliance Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri

Jacobson is represented in numerous public and private collections Including:

Honors include, purchase awards in exhibitions along with Who’s Who in Education and Fellowships:

  • Nebraska Individual Fellowship - Nebraska Arts Council
  • Nebraska Research Services Council Grant - University of Nebraska, Kearney, Nebraska
  • Nebraska1992 Nebraska Governors Arts Awards - Commission to Design and produce 12 works.

Reviews, photographs Video productions have appeared in:

  • ”Rendezvous” - a National Ceramic Exhibition, Ceramic Monthly
  • ”Is It Art” - a Video by Nebraska Education TV Aired Nationally
  • Best of Pottery I - Book published by Lark Press
  • Best of Pottery II - Book published by Lark Press
  • Ceramics Exruding - Inspiration & Technique” Krause Press

Jacobson juried Exhibitions in Kansas, And Curated Rendezvous I, II and III. for the Museum of Nebraska Art. National Ceramic Invitational exhibitions featuring the nations most significant and recognized ceramic artists working in c ontemporary ceramics.


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