Jennifer M. Stevens, 2014 NACF Regional Artist Fellow for the Upper Plains, lands her debut solo exhibition at Neville Museum in Green Bay Wisconsin entitled, “One Hand Full of Earth.” Her spirit and ancestral heritage is sculpted into every piece she creates.
The lecture-exhibition, “One Hand Full of Earth”, Swahtsyá nat Ne Ohύtya (pronounced Swawt-jaah-nawt Nay Oh-hoo-juh) is inspired from one of the Oneida creation stories – the Creator tried using sea foam then sand and soil to create a human being, but finally, with one handful of earth the Creator was able to sculpt first man and woman.
Stevens has studied and apprenticed under many master potters in her lifetime; though additionally she also infuses a spiritual nature to her work. A part of her process is naming each pot according to the spirit she perceives coming through it. For example, “A Good Mind” is a perfectly round pot named after Peace Maker, a messenger sent by the Creator carrying powerful words of peace to the five warring nations of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Mohawk and the Oneida. She interprets each of her pottery creations through a connection to her ancestral roots by allowing it to emerge into what it is meant to be, rarely what she wants it to be.