Born and raised in Northern New York, Margaret Jacobs is an enrolled member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. She attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH where she graduated with High Honors for her thesis work and received the prestigious Perspectives on Design (POD) Award.
Jacobs has participated in several artist residencies including at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT where she received a Native American Fellowship through the Harpo Foundation. She has shown at numerous galleries and juried art markets throughout the United States including at FLYNNDOG in Burlington, VT; 516 Arts in Albuquerque, NM; Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, IN and the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, ME. Her work has been featured in various print and online press including at mic.com in the article 11 Native American Artists Whose Work Redefines What It Means to Be American.
Jacobs maintains a studio practice in New Hampshire where she is very active in her local community. She currently acts as the Secretary Board of Directors for the Native American Alumni Association at Dartmouth (NAAAD) and the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for CATV (Community Access Television) in White River Jct., VT. She has served as a Grant Panelist for the Piscataqua Artist Advancement Grant in Portsmouth, NH and acted as a VPR (Vermont Public Radio) Commentator.
Jacobs is known for her sculpture, jewelry and drawings. She uses all three approaches to explore the tension and harmony between natural and man-made, often intermingling unexpected and contradicting materials to explore those relationships.
I believe in the importance of objects and their power to relay narratives which is why sculpture and jewelry resonates with me so strongly. From early on, storytelling and making have been an integral part of my life and I see my family’s lineage built into my work.
I am interested in exploring the tension and harmony between man-made objects and those occurring in nature. Materials heavily inspire my work--I’m drawn to elements that have a combination of textures or can be used to make a combination of textures and surfaces. For this reason, I primarily use metal in my work--steel in my sculpture and powdercoated brass in my jewelry. I find metal is an incredibly versatile material that lends strength and visual weight to the work, but can also be worked so that it is organic and delicate.
In both my sculpture and jewelry, I frequently intermingle contradicting materials and colors. I believe that the materials and objects chosen for the artmaking process have their own narrative. It is important for me to use a material in a manner that remains true to this narrative and to see how and what it can lend to the work and add to my story.
As a member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, my culture inspires me to create pieces charged with power, strength, and beauty and in turn, I believe my work celebrates indigenous culture with a bold, powerful aesthetic.
Color plays a large role in my work. One of the main ways I apply color is through the powdercoating process which I personally execute in my own studio. Powdercoating is a process where pigment is applied as a dry powder electrostatically to an object then cured under heat. Highly resistant to chips and scratches, it’s an industrial finish most often associated with bicycle frames and automobile parts. This process gives me the ability to add incredibly unique color choices to my work.