“Janiece is an artist who makes ceramic sculpture that addresses the weight of societal challenges; genocide, racial injustice, sexual exploitation, famine, war, poverty, homophobia, environmental collapse, etc., through the lens of a child’s eyes… This work hints at the depth of lived experience and psychology of children, using the language of children’s drawings and vivid colors as an entry point. It is smart, well made, timely, and eloquent, and worthy of celebrating.” – Andrew Casto, Associate Professor, Program Head, Ceramics
• Hometown: Davenport, IA
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Professor Andrew Casto
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Ceramics BFA, English Minor, 2022
• Please describe your research: I am an interdisciplinary artists with a focus in ceramics. I make sculptural work that expresses my thoughts and experiences on the effects societal institutions have on us by addressing simulation theory, Afrofuturism, and childhood.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? My work allows people to think outside of themselves and gives everyone permission to explore their inner child. It also allows many Black people to place themselves in a future of their own making and consider how that imagined future can become a joyous reality.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I was able to start discovering my areas of interest my second semester at Iowa, I was immediately welcomed into the ceramics program as soon as I showed any interest, then from there I was encouraged to find exactly what it was that drove me to want to create, and the encouragement hasn’t stopped since then.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? I have received so many wonderful opportunities that have helped me grow my CV and given me the practice needed to prepare me for my career upon graduation.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I plan on going on to get a post-bachelorette degree in ceramics, then a masters of fine arts. After I finish, I want to teach at a collegiate level and eventually open my own artist residency program for marginalized individuals.
• Does your research have connections to or implications for COVID-19? Please explain. No, not directly, however I do think that because my work is often an expression of my own thoughts and experiences it is inevitable for the effects of the pandemic to have made its way into many of my pieces.
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