Jen Clay at Black Mountain College for 2024 BMC Active Archive Residents

The BMC Active Archive Residency, a partnership between Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and Lake Eden Preserve, is a unique program that invites artists to develop work inspired by the history and philosophy of Black Mountain College. The residency takes place at the historic site of the College, aiming to recreate the dynamic and creative atmosphere that made BMC a powerful incubator for new ideas. Throughout the residency artists have access to Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center’s extensive collection of archival materials related to the history of the College, available for research and inspiration. The BMC Active Archive Residency is made possible with major support from the Windgate Foundation.

Jen Clay was born in 1985 in Mountain View, North Carolina. She received her BFA in Sculpture from the University of North Carolina Charlotte and her MFA from the University of Florida in 2014.

Clay creates elaborately sewn textiles of ambiguous non-human figures which speak to the audience through audio or sewn messages to make fear, anxiety, and uncertainty approachable. She uses the plushy textures of quilted textiles and manipulated fabrics to create an intuitive, comforting feeling for her avatars. Accessibility and inclusivity are integral elements of her work. Her work develops a multi-sensory and tactile language of comfort and safety, rekindling memories of stuffed animals and heirloom quilts.

Clay’s residencies include Oolite Arts, Miami Beach, FL (2020-2022), along with a connected residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2020), New Smyrna, FL. A short segment on her practice, “Jen Clay: The Texture of Anxiety,” won a 2020 regional Emmy through South Florida PBS. A Knight Arts New Work Award funded Clay’s new video game and installation, which debuted at Locust Projects in the Fall of 2023. Clay lives and works in Miami, FL, and is represented by the Emerson Dorsch Gallery.

Visit by Appointment

Due to COVID-19, we are open by appointment. The gallery will follow social distancing protocol and allow only a certain number of visitors per appointment.