Jen Clay was born in 1985 in Mountain View, North Carolina. She received her BFA in Sculpture from University of North Carolina Charlotte and her MFA from the University of Florida in 2014. Directly after her MFA, she moved to South Florida, where, within a year, she had immersed herself in the scene, with screenings and performances at Girls Club Collection, Fort Lauderdale, FL; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; NSU Art Museum, Ft Lauderdale FL; and Miami Light Box, Miami, FL.
Commissions for more complex and immersive multimedia performances followed. Among these are “Stewardess, Pink Noise: Flexing the Frequency” at Girls Club Collection in 2016, “Welcome to You&Me” at Young at Art Museum in Davie, FL in 2019. The performances at Young at Arts and South Dade Arts Center, which built upon the commissioned performance for the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, were conceived especially for neurodiverse children. It was while working on the group exhibition for the South Florida Cultural Consortium at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami in 2019 when she began thinking about making self-contained performative objects. Clay has shown in institutions up and down the east coast of the United States.
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 is funding an ambitious new video game and installation, to debut at Locust Projects in the Fall of 2024. Clay lives and works in Fort Lauderdale, FL.