Artist Statement

This piece was started a few years ago, I have been working on it since that time. It’s a part of a much larger series I have been working on called Homes for Everyone, which was started as my personal response to the housing crisis just shy of a decade ago, when I almost lost my own home. This particular piece examines our relationship to the concept of home when it longer offers sanctuary and safety. It was started a few years ago with the first media images showing desperate immigrants risking life and limb to board rickety boats to cross unforgiving seas in search of a better life for themselves and their children. Images of deceased children on the shoreline and rescuers trying to resuscitate drowned children have haunted me ever since. As a second generation American I still remember my grandparents, from Czechoslovakia and Puerto Rico, talking about desperate times immigrating to the US, the terrible conditions they left and the terrifying nature of the politics that forced then to leave. And then when they arrived, the prejudice they experienced, and fear of not knowing how they would make it through the next day. This piece is my direct way of expressing the chaotic experience of what it must be like to find that your home, that place you always knew and grew up in, is no longer a place of safety or reliable life and liberty.

Artist Bio

“As a sculptor I build what I imagine, and there’s a lot going on in there, so I’ll be busy for a while.”

Jennifer Torres was born in Queens, NY and spent her childhood in Teaneck, NJ. She did her first four years of studio training as a teenager at the Art Students League in New York City and got her BFA at the Cooper Union, also in NYC. After graduating from Cooper she trained as a fine cabinetmaker in New England, and then got her MFA in Sculpture at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Ms. Torres has lived in Hattiesburg, MS for 19 years where she has her studio and teaches sculpture at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. She has had many exhibits of her sculptures and installations around the country and has won a number of awards and commissions.