Jessica Bodner - Hale Konon
[ARITST BACKGROUND] Jessica Bodner is an artist, designer and gardener who explores environmental themes often celebrating the legacy of native peoples. She presently works in Ventura, California where she recently relocated after living and working almost 20-years in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. While a Bayview resident, she was an active member of the community operating the 1660 Exhibitions, teaching welding workshops for women and creating several gardens and later donating native plants to the new artist compound, Islais Creek. Her studio and adjacent garden were in a Jerrold Street warehouse when she encouraged a new green business, Flora Grubb to locate their nursery to an adjacent property thereby further adding to the vitality of the Hunters Point community. Bodner was awarded public and private commissions and exhibited her artwork primarily in the western states. Jessica Bodner received an A.A. from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing (F.I.D.M.), Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Academy of Art University, in San Francisco.
[PROPOSED ARTWORK] Jessica Bodner will create a memorial tribute to the Ohlone Tribe, the native inhabitants of the southeastern shoreline. Bodner will create a life sized historic interpretation of the tule canoe used by the Ohlone Tribe in woven steel to celebrate and honor the Ohlone culture while bringing public attention to the innovative and sustainable principles practiced by these native peoples.
[ARTIST INSPIRATION] Bodner researched the nautical history of Bayview Hunters Point beginning thousands of years ago with the native Coastanoan Ohlone tribe. In her research, she learned about the tall marsh grasses that were used to make Tule Canoes. These canoes ranged in size and each canoe lasted approximately two years at which point their usefulness as canoes ended and the used and spent tule material was returned to the marshland, becoming food and shelter for fish, birds and small wildlife, environmentally a full circle. The Ohlone Tribe was known as a peaceful, non warring people who lived in harmony and sustained a perfectly balanced eco-system and way of life along the southeastern shoreline. From that research Bodner was inspired to create a memorial sculpture honoring the Ohlone people as a small icon of gratitude in reverence for their lost culture and the roots of San Francisco Bay.
[YOUTH INVOLVEMENT] During a day-long workshop Bodner will introduce youth participants to ways they can explore what the artist refers to as the ancient history and traditions of the Bayview Hunters Point.