Jessica Rath

Jessica RathArtist’s Statement

Investigating the point of human intervention in the natural world, Jessica Rath questions the drive of the naturalist, artist, and scientist to contain and beget beauty within the landscape, whether in the cultivated ground of agriculture and in our own backyards. This exploration began with “Tree Peel” (Otis College, 2009), an 18-foot yellow latex mold of a dying apricot tree. For the next three years she immersed herself in the endangered apple varieties collected by Cornell’s University’s Plant Genetics Resource Unit and the striking architecture of hybrid experiments by Cornell apple breeder Dr. Susan Brown to produce “take me to the apple breeder.” With the current work “Ripe” (C.O.L.A. 2014) the artist explores tomatoes, from their discovery in the Andes to contemporary Florida politics dictating their aesthetics.

Her upcoming exhibition “A Better Nectar” (California State University-Long Beach University Art Museum, 2015) stems from a 2007 bee swarm experience and research at University of Nevada-Reno’s Bee Lab. In “Nectar” viewers will experience a multi-sensory, human-scaled native bumblebee nest sculpture emanating human voice interpretations of bee communication, and stamen sculptures, based on flowers that have over evolutionary time developed necessity for “buzz pollination,” a tone bees resonate through the stamen to release pollen.



Solo Exhibitions

a better nectar, California State University Long Beach Art Museum, CA

Buzz Pollinate: Slits, Pores, and Valves, Theodore Payne Foundation, Los Angeles, CA

take me to the apple breeder, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, New York
take me to the apple breeder, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA

Group Exhibitions

Daughters of Bad Girls , Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York, NY
City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Fellowship Exhibition , Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Something about a Tree, curated by Linda Yablonsky, The Flag Art Foundation, NY
Weird Science, Jack Hanley Gallery, NY

Awards and Grants

The Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant, New York, NY

City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Fellowship, Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, CA

Center for Cultural Innovation ARC Grant, Los Angeles

Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) Artistic Innovation Grant, Los Angeles


MFA Art 1996
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

BA Sociology & Art 1990
University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Post Baccalaureate Studies 1990-1993
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Painting & Sculpture Studies 1990-1993
Skinnskatteberg Art College, Skinnskatteberg, Sweden