Open Studio: Jae Pearl

As a senior at USD, Jae Pearl does the majority of her work in her studio. Kelly Kennedy/The USD Vista

Senior Jae Pearl describes her work and inspiration as an artist

Kelly Kennedy | Managing Editor | The USD Vista

On how Open Studios helps her connect with her audience:

“It’s really difficult with Open Studios when you’re presenting an installation or sculptural practice, because it’s different than drawing or painting. You can’t see a composition — instead you see fragments, forms, and technological components that don’t make sense yet because they have no context right now. That’s why I’m always present so that I can explain my plans. For example, I’m working on a planter where plants and vines are going to hang overhead. I’m also modeling a heart-rate sensor, but no one would know that just by walking into my studio in the same way that you could see a drawing in progress.”

Pearl works with materials such as mirror, birch, plexiglass, and electronic components. Kelly Kennedy/The USD Vista

On what she is currently working on:

“Essentially, I’m working with various sculptural elements to refract light. I’m really interested in the concept of transcendence — how do I have humans, my peers, and the people that I’m constantly around have a conversation about the fourth dimension. How do I have conversations about what transcends our experience of reality? What does that mean? I’m concerned with other-worldly aspects of our existence when we think about the fact that there are 12 dimensions that exist within our universe but we can only conceive a tiny fraction of them because we’re limited by our sensory perception.

I’m interested in manipulating and exploiting our reliance on sensory perceptions and eliciting new meaning and challenging the way that we perceive reality by bombarding and depriving the senses. “

Her work is displayed on the walls of her studio, which is located in the basement of Camino Hall. Kelly Kennedy/The USD Vista​

On what materials she has been working with:

“I work with mirror, birch, and concrete, as well as aluminum, galvanized steel, and sometimes plexiglass, more for the electronic components. What’s most interesting to me as I push into my work is the relationship between natural wood, mirror, and concrete. I’m interested in Scandinavian interior design ­— I have this fine art practice but how do I commercialize it, how am I going to make money? But more importantly, how do I make money doing something that I love? I’m going to be creating concrete planters, things that you would see on Pinterest ­— I actually get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. I’ve been studying different interior design trends and I love the use of concrete in warm minimalist spaces. “

Pearl works with materials such as mirror, birch, plexiglass, and electronic components. Kelly Kennedy/The USD Vista

On her thought process regarding art:

“My head’s always in the clouds. I’m not as grounded in reality as most other people are. Everyone is thinking about school, work, careers, their next steps, and I’m thinking about those things too, but what actually inspires me is what we don’t see and experience. What aren’t we thinking about and what is the nature of our existence? What is the problem of God, does God exist? These are things that don’t have practical meaning — I can’t put it on a job application that ‘I’m thinking about God’ — but for me, I want to create a bridge between my professional practice and my philosophy and how I live my life. The way that I flesh out those problems for myself is my work, it’s how they manifest as a material form.”