Jessalyn Finch welcomes you to the world of “Maskquerade,” an interactive sculpture garden featuring dystopian animal masks made with recycled material.

Journey through this parallel universe at the artist’s residence on June 12th between 6-8pm.

***6/11 This event is SOLD OUT. Contact us with any questions:  info@rochesterartcenter.org. Please refrain from contacting the artist.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Jessalyn Finch has been a figure drawer and printmaker off and on for ten years. Her focus on the human body has been integrated into her artwork since the beginning of her art education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. However, it wasn’t until 2018 until she decided to re-commit to her art career when she was awarded a SEMAC Emerging Artist Grant for the collection titled, Shadow Form: The Human Body’s Secret Life.

As a response to the pandemic, Jessalyn has made the crossover into sculpture and design by teaming up with photographer, Mary McDonald to create The Mask Series. This duo, known as McFinch, wanted to create characters that represent the dysphoric, isolating, and distractive nature that the life during a pandemic have produced. Jessalyn created the masks out of leftover materials of cardboard, hot glue, and paint that she found around her house during times of quarantine. She modeled the masks for photographer, Mary McDonald, in Duluth, Minnesota.

Her love of woodcuts also returned during the pandemic. She creates limited series, which are available through the Rochester Makers Market, and Threshold Arts. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Threshold Arts and continues to build out her collections of drawings, woodcuts, and sculpture at her home studio in Rochester, MN.

ABOUT ART FOR NEIGHBORS

Art For Neighbors (AFN) is a series of art happenings that build community at the most local level – the block that each participating artist lives on. AFN was first produced at the start of the pandemic as a means for safe socializing among neighbors with art as catalyst. Neighbors could simply step out onto their lawn or sidewalk to view what was happening –performance, video, installation, etc. Typically, neighbors would hang around to visit (socially distant) with one another and partially fulfill the need for social interaction that most humans feel. A second goal for the project was to find a way to make art happen in the real world, given that most of the field moved onto digital platforms. There is no substitute for the real thing.

Since that time, the project’s relevance has not waned. If anything, it has risen. The turmoil of the past year –the murder of Georg Floyd and all its repercussions, deep ideological divides during an election year, the ever-present problems of gun violence and police killings, the ongoing pandemic suggest that we need to find and build deeper human connections. This project is a small way to do that. For example, it has caused neighbors to meet one another for the first time, enabled people to find shared interests, and has led to larger community-led projects for the artists.

6/11 This event is SOLD OUT.