I am an artist who lives and works in Cleveland Ohio. I was born in Denmark but have lived in the United States for most of my life. I am a graduate of Antioch College. I am also an Army veteran who served in S. Korea and in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Nature presents itself in a dizzying array of organic shapes and structures. From the graceful spiral arms of galaxies to the nebulous webs created by tree roots, to the hexagonal geometry of honeycomb – the structures of nature are wondrous creations where beauty meets function, and the repetition of simple patterns give rise to an enigmatic complexity. The main emphasis of my artwork is to recreate the grandeur and complexity of natural structures. Whereas some artists paint two-dimensional representations of various flora and fauna onto canvas, my work instead, recreates the structures found in nature by distilling their essence down to an abstracted form and then creating sculptures similar to those forms. Understanding the physicality and how form and function are intertwined in nature is the philosophical foundation from which all of my sculptures are created. I want to know how things are built and not just what they look like.
My use of unconventional materials and various techniques for creating my work are groundbreaking and unique. Most of my work is breaded with oatmeal. The oatmeal along with sand and plaster gives my work a textural quality not seen in other works of sculpture. The oatmeal also acts as a sponge that soaks up the various dyes. This gives my work a strange vibrancy and natural blending of tones. Many of my organic looking sculptures are created through a method of layering. This is similar to the way rings are formed on a tree, the difference being that my sculptures grow vertically from a “genetic blueprint” as opposed to trees which grow outward from an inner ring. Fire also plays a large role in some of my work. I use fire to create spontaneous and organic shapes. This helps keep my work from becoming too formulaic or geometric in form. My work also explores how beauty and complexity emerge from the repetition of simple shapes, for many of my sculptures are created by combining thousands of individual pieces to create complex organic forms. Some of the unconventional materials I use are: cardboard, egg cartons, dryer sheets, yarn and other textiles, cardboard tubes, gravel, Styrofoam, Polyfil, sand, salt, various spices, quinoa, and oatmeal.
In summation, my work grapples with how complexity is created out of the repetition of simple shapes, showcases the structural qualities inherent in nature, is a study in the use of unconventional materials, creates conversations about waste, explores the possibilities of sustainable practices in art, and lastly, explores through the repetitive process of labor, the relationship between monotonous work, skill, and the haphazard and organic ways in which forms take shape.
Art Shows (Solo and Dual)
--A Handful of Dream Dust. Kaiser Gallery. Cleveland Oh. June10th – Aug. 7th 2022.
--Surreal By Nature: The Art of Jonah Jacobs and Maria Uhase. Akron Soul Train. Akron Ohio. Jan. 5 – Feb. 12th 2022.
--Biosynthesis: The Art of Jonah Jacobs and Betsy Cavalier-Casey. Kent State Downtown Gallery. Jan. 19 – Feb. 25th 2017.
--Emergent Biomes. Olin Art gallery at Washington and Jefferson College. Washington PA. Nov. 4th – Dec. 4th 2016.
--Morphology: Peridium, Internode, Polyp. Columbus Cultural Arts Center. Columbus Ohio. April 2nd-30th 2016.
--Post Human Biomes at Journey art gallery. Canton Ohio. March 21st-May 12th 2015.
--Invasive Biomes at MadLab gallery. Columbus Ohio. July 11th- Aug 2nd. 2014.
--Mimesis: Sculptural works by Jonah Jacobs and Rebecca Cross. (Dual show) Survival Kit gallery. Cleveland Oh. Sept – Nov. 2011.
--Un-natural Selections (solo show) at Studio 2091. Cuyahoga Falls Oh. January 7- 28th. 2011
–Fragmentation: Seed, Spore, and Polyp at William Rupnik gallery. Cleveland oh. 44103 22 Jan. - 14 Feb. 2010.
Art Shows (group)
--Moments of Transformation Morgan Paper Conservatory. Cleveland Oh. March 24th – April 28th 2023.
--Fractals: Patterns in Nature Dublin Arts Council. Dublin Oh. March 7th – June 2nd 2023
--Akron Soul Train Alumni Show Akron Soul Train gallery. Akron Ohio. Dec 14th – Jan. 14th.
--American Craft Council Show Baltimore Convention Center. May 20th-22nd 2022.
-Earth Mother Envision Arts (online) May 2022
--Next. . . Stella’s art gallery. Willoughby Ohio. March 11th-April 1st. 2022.
--Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition 2021 Waterloo Arts. Collinwood Ohio. Aug. 6th – Sept. 18th. 2021.
--Mouse House Party Current gallery. Cleveland Ohio. Aug. 6th- Sept. 30th. 2021.
--Members Show Akron Soul Train. Akron Ohio. June 11th- July 3rd 2021.
---May Show Lakeland Community College. Kirtland Ohio. May 20th – July 9th. 2021.
--National Juried Exhibition Morgan Paper Conservatory. Cleveland Ohio. April 9th – May 22nd. 2021.
-Trippy Trip. Yards Projects. Cleveland Ohio. Nov. 14th – Jan. 2nd.
--Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition 2020. Waterloo Arts. Collinwood Ohio. Oct. 9th – Nov 14th.
--Envision Arts Textured show (online). Aug. 1st – Aug 31st.
--2020 OH+5 Biennial Regional Juried Exhibition. The Dairy Barn Arts Center. Athens Oh. Jan. 17th-March 14th. 2020.
--2019 Biennial Juried Exhibition. Riffe Gallery. Columbus Oh. Nov.7th- Jan. 10th. 2020.
--Form x 4. ROY G BIV gallery. Columbus Oh. Aug 9th -Sept. 7th. 2019.
--Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition 2019. Waterloo Arts. Collinwood Ohio. June 7th- July 201th. 2019
--May Show. Lakeland Community College. Kirtland Ohio. May 16th-July 12th. 2019.
--Hypotheses: Art Inspired by the Many Worlds of Science. Columbus Cultural Arts Center. Columbus Ohio. Sept. 28th – Nov. 10th. 2018.
--CAN (Collective Arts Network) Triennial. W.78th St studios. Cleveland Ohio. July 7th-29th. 2018.
--Paper Trails. Morgan Art of Papermaking. Morgan Paper Conservatory. Cleveland Ohio. March 30th – April 28th. 2018.
--Curated Storefront. Oswald building. Akron Ohio. Nov. 2017 – 2018.
--11th annual HWD Juried Sculpture Exhibition. Rosewood Arts Centre. Kettering Ohio. Aug. 28th – Oct. 6th. 2017.
--After the Pedastal. Sculpture Center. Cleveland Oh. June 9th- Aug. 4th. 2017.
--Pillars of Creation. Satellite Gallery. Collinwood Oh. June 2nd – July 31st. 2017.
--Recycle. Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. Brroklyn N.Y. May 13th to June 18th 2017.
--Waterloo Arts Fest Juried Exhibition. Collinwood Oh. June 3rd to July 22nd, 2016.
--Rooms to Let. Slavic Village. Cleveland Ohio. May. 2016
--Inaugural Juried Exhibition at Riffe Gallery. Columbus Ohio. Nov. 5 – Jan. 9 2016.
--Bottled Water at Waterloo Arts. Collinwood Ohio. Sept-Oct. 2015.
--Warerloo Arts Juried and Members show at Waterloo Arts. Collinwood Ohio. June-July 2015.
--May Show at Lakeland Community College. Kirtland Ohio. May-July 2015
--Impossible Gardens III at Satellite gallery. Colliwood, Ohio. Nov. 7th- Jan. 2015.
--Ohio Art League Fall Juried Exhibition at McConnell Arts Center. Worthington Ohio. 30 Oct.-4Jan. 2015.
--Stand Up at Doubting Thomas gallery. Tremont Ohio. Nov. 14- 30th. 2014.
--Impossible Gardens II at Studio 2091. Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. June 2013.
--May Show at Lakeland Community College. Kirtland, Ohio. May- July 2013.
--Collinwood Artist Residency Program. Collinwood, Ohio. March-June 2013.
--Impossible Gardens. Translations Gallery. Canton Ohio. April 2013.
--OhioArt League Curated Exhibition (curated by Dennis Harrington). Riffe gallery. Columbus Ohio. Jan. 31- April 14, 2013.
--Discarted: recycled art exhibition. West Woods Nature Center. Chardon Ohio. Jan.26 – March 2013.
--Collinwood Storefront Competition. Collinwood Ohio. Dec. 2012 – Jan. 2013.
--Pittsburgh vs.Cleveland show at the Zaller building. Collinwood Ohio. June 2012.
--Spring Show at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Curated by the Ohio Art League. Columbus Ohio. June 2012.
--May Show at Lakeland Community College. Kirtland Oh. 18 May – 20 July 2012.
--Controversy art show at Zaller gallery. Collinwood Oh. Dec. 2011.
--Lonesome No More presents: 16 Interpretations of Ken Nordine’s Colors. Pink Eye gallery. Cleveland Oh. April – March. 2011.
--Transformations art show at Pop Up Art Gallery. Collinwood Oh. Feb. 2011.
--Lonesome No More art show at Oakland Art Center. Youngstown Oh. Feb. 11th-18th 2011.
-Lonesome No More art show at Wall Eye gallery. Cleveland Oh. Oct. 2010.
--Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition at the Cox Center for Arts. Columbus Oh. August 2010.
(Won an Ohio Arts Council award for artistic excellence in fiber arts.)
--Artmart at Spaces gallery. Cleveland Oh. April 2010.
–Select pieces on view at Lava Lounge. Tremont Onio. Nov. 2009.
–Erie Prom art auction at Spaces gallery. Cleveland Ohio. Nov. 2009.
–DiscARTed (recycled art exhibition) at the West Woods Nature Center. Russell Ohio. Nov. 2009- Jan. 210.
–$50 Dollar Hollar at the Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. June 2009.
–4th Anniversary Show at the Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. May 2009.
–Artmart at Spaces gallery. Cleveland Ohio. April. 2009.
–“Green” art show at the Brecksville center for the arts. Brecksville Ohio. April-May. 2009.
–Untitled solo show at The Enclave. Willoughby Ohio. Nov.-Dec. 2008.
--Sensory Feast at 2nd April gallery. Canton Ohio. Sept. 2008
–Blasphemy show at Doubting Thomas gallery. Tremont Ohio. Aug.-Sept. 2008.
–The Bad Apple show at the Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. June-July 2008.
–Your Work 08 at Utrecht Art Supply. Cleveland Heights Ohio. June-July 2008. Won the Community Award at this event.
--The Rule of Three show at Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. May-June 2008.
–Lake County Creative Artists Association show at Lakeland Community College Fine Arts gallery. Kirtland Ohio. May-June 2008. Won 2nd place award in Mixed Media.
–Apollonova AAA show at Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. April-May 2008.
--ArtMart at Spaces Gallery. Cleveland Ohio. March 2008.
–P.S. I Love You show at Pop Shop gallery. Lakewood Ohio. Feb-March 2008.
–Apollonova A2 show at Asterisk gallery. Cleveland Ohio. Jan. 2008.
–Raw Umber Presents: Layered Journeys at the Malone Building, Akron Ohio. Dec. 2007.
–Halloween show at Pop Shop gallery, Lakewood Ohio. Oct-Nov. 2007.
–Bottle Rocket at Pop Shop gallery, Lakewood Ohio. June 30 th to July 29th. 2007.
–Your Work 07 at Utrecht. Cleveland Heights Ohio. June 2007
–Pop, Drop, and Roll at Pop Shop gallery, Lakewood Ohio. May 19th to June 23rd 2007.
--Artmart at Spaces Gallery, Cleveland Ohio. March 2007
--Art at the Center. A collaborative effort between the Polish-American center and Spaces Gallery, Cleveland Ohio. September 2006.
--Artmart at Spaces Gallery, Cleveland Ohio. March 2006.
--June Art Review (JAR) at the Galleria, Cleveland Ohio. June-August 2006.
--Salon Des Refuses at the Galleria, Cleveland Ohio. (This show was part of Cleveland’s first annual Ingenuity Festival). Sept. 2005
Awards and Accolades
2022: On Aug. 25th I gave a presentation and was part of a panel discussion at MOCA L.A. The topic of the panel discussion was Approaches to Sustainability: A Conversation with Artists Engaging with Environmental Issues. Participating artists were: Jonah Jacobs, Madeline Hollander, Andrea Bowers, and Patty Chang. The discussion was moderated by art writer Anabelle Keenan. The discussion can be viewed at the following link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZzdLVcLkc4
2022: In coordination with The Dublin Arts Council, I led a group of people on a guided nature walk where we discussed fractal patterns in nature and art. The event was later shown on Columbus Ohio’s PBS station. The event can be viewed at the following link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUiwMgarJhQ
2022: Won a James Renwick Alliance award for excellence. This was the only award given out during the American Craft Council annual show in Baltimore Maryland,
2021: Won a Juror’s choice award for my art piece “Polyp #2” at Lakeland Community College’s annual jury art show. 401 artworks were submitted by 179 artists. Out of this only 114 artworks by 94 artists were selected for inclusion in this show. The juror was Jae Jarrell member and co-founder of the AFRICOBRA art movement.
2020: Won best in show for my art piece “Polyp #2” for Envision art’s online “Textured” art show.
2019: Won 2nd best of show for my art piece “Polyp #2” at Waterloo Arts Juried show, Juried by Anthony Mastromatteo. Out of 604 pieces submitted for this show, only 86 pieces were chosen.
2019: Participated in the OAC (Ohio Arts Council) biennial. My art piece “Polyp #2” was one of only 72 pieces of artwork selected out of 929 pieces of work submitted by 319 applicants.
2018: Won a Viewer’s Choice award for my art piece “Internode #1” at the CAN (Collective Arts Network) triennial exhibition. This Triennial showcased the best artists living in and around the Cleveland Ohio area.
2018: Participated in the Morgan Art of Papermaking’s sixth annual juried exhibition. Out 369 submissions only 59 works of art were selected. People from 22 states applied to this show.
2017: My art piece “Green Internode #1” won a curator’s choice award at the Rosewood Arts Centre’s annual HWD juried sculpture exhibition, 42 artists submitted 117 pieces, from which the juror, Virginia Kistler, chose 32 artworks representing 17 artists. My piece was one of five works which won an award.
2016: Won Best of show for my art piece “Accretion #1” at Waterloo Arts Juried exhibition. This show was juried by Rob Lehr: Director of Marketing, Canton Art Museum & Gallery Director/Curator, Summit Artspace Gallery. Only 36 art pieces were selected out of a total of 396 pieces. Artists submitted work from 24 states, two Canadian provinces, and the District of Columbia.
2015: Received an honorable mention for my art piece “Peridium #1” at the Waterloo arts jury show curated by Therese Bembnister head curator of the Akron Art Museum.
2015: Participated in the first annual juried art show at Riffe gallery in Columbus Ohio. Only 59 artists out of a total of over 400 applicants were selected to participate in this show.
2013: Awarded a three-month Residency in Collinwood Ohio from March until June of 2013. During this residency six artists were awarded space and a stipend to create art in an under-utilized apartment building. All of the artist’s work was on display during the annual Collinwood art festival.
2008: Won the “Community Choice award at the Utrecht “Your Work” show.
2008: Won 2nd place in Mixed Media at the Creative Artists Association at Lakeland Community College Fine Arts Gallery.
Not Real Art Nov. 2022
CAN Journal (Collective Arts Network) Summer 2022
In the fall of 2021, my artwork was used by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education for lesson plans for art students.
CAN Journal (Collective Arts Network) Winter 2020
QWERTY: The Ecology Issue. Summer 2020. My work was not only featured in this periodical but was also chosen for the cover.
DASH 13th Edition 2020
Maake Magazine Issue 9/2019
The Las Positas Anthology 2019: Magic Tricks
Sheephead Review: Journal of Art + Literature Vol. 41 No.1
CAN Journal (Collective Arts Network) Fall 2018
Average Art Magazine March 2017
The Pattern Base (Book) 2015
Art Without Waste: 500 Upcycled & Earth-Friendly Designs (Book) 2014