Looking for the Light; A Testimonial; SculptureFest; Suspended Earth; Hope and Community; Outdoor Sculpture Class; Through Red Clouds; Ancient Site

Looking for the Light 

Just a couple of weeks ago, we experienced the shortest day of the year, and I am looking forward to more light. The winter solstice is that wonderful pivot to more light. With the darkness of these days, there is plenty of time to reflect on what has transpired and what will come to be. Since happiness is rooted in being present and feeling gratitude for being given the gift of life and consciousness, I am very much appreciating all that winter brings in the moments of these days: skating in the moonlight, fresh snow, wood stoves to fight the cold, a great horned owl calling, and loving friends and family to name a few details of a good life. 

Much has been said about the political changes that are rocking our country and, indeed, the world. When I am asked by the young people in my life about what can be done in these confusing and troubling times, I respond with the following: fight for and defend what you love and care about, help people who are in need, and remember to be present to the beauty that surrounds us in every moment. I once asked Dana Meadows if she thought there was enough time left to create a sustainable world and she said she thought there was just enough time.

This past year, I have had the pleasure and privilege to engage in community service in the Upper Valley, lead classes at our local high school, and co-curate the SculptureFest here in Vermont. I hope you enjoy the related articles and photos in this edition of my newsletter.

If you like what you see, I encourage you or your school, organization or business to invite me to lead a workshop or give a talk in 2017. These can focus on expressive mask making, reconnecting to nature, stilt walking, local agriculture and community, and much more. For others, I encourage you to buy one of my art pieces - a painting or sculpture - or my book, A Little Farm Story.

May we all continue to find light through our dark times,

Jay Mead

Co-Curating SculptureFest

I had the pleasure of co-curating the “Grounding” ScultureFest 2016 with Edythe Wright. It was an honor to pull together 20 artists for this Sculpture-Fest, with works installed at King Farm, in Woodstock, Vermont. The Farm's forests, pastures, pond, topography, and classic barn buildings is always a wonderful tableau for sculpture installations.

Thanks to the Vermont Land Trust for allowing us to use this unique place to show fresh creations. In fact, many installations were created in situ. Special appreciations are also due to Peter and Charlet Davenport for all the hard work they have put into making this such a special venue for so many years.

Visit my Explorations Blog to read the full article and to leave a comment.

Hope and Community

In June, I started working full-time as a Job Crew Leader for a non-profit called COVER. Based in White River Junction, Vermont, COVER specializes in home repair and weatherization for people in need who live in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont.

I have found this work to be highly rewarding in that I have to apply several skill sets: teaching, construction knowledge, leadership, and the ability to hear people’s concerns. In a time when there is so much negative hyperbole directed toward people in poverty and the safety nets of our government are under attack, it feels good to be part of a positive solution

Visit my Explorations Blog to read the full article and to leave a comment.


Painting for Sale

Ancient Site is made of acrylic and wax on paper. It is 19” x 22” in size. Contact me at or 1-802-369-9137 to purchase these or other paintings.

Suspended Earth

This installation – which I installed for the “Grounding” SculptureFest 2016 at King Farm in Woodstock, Vermont – continues a body of work that concerns multiple elements creating a larger form. I was curious about finding a way to float clay in the black box of what I like to call the zen pagoda. I like the idea of taking something earthbound and floating it in the air. In creating this piece I was also inspired by images of asteroid belts. This clay has experienced many uses: other installations, as casting form for sculptures, masks and giant puppets. It is unfired and will be recycled eventually. The balls are hanging on 40 lb test monofilament.

Visit my Explorations Blog to read the full article, to see more photos, and to leave a comment.

Outdoor Sculpture

From March-June, I had the opportunity to teach an Outdoor Sculpture elective at The Sharon Academy for 10 students. We focused on two very different group projects. The first, pictured above, were two half-dome trellises for scarlet runner beans and kiwi plants. The second was a curvilinear lawn sculpture involving some 500 sapling lengths.

Visit my Explorations Blog to read the full article, to see more photos, and to leave a comment.

Painting for Sale

Through Red Clouds is made of acrylic and wax on paper. It is 19” x 22” in size. Contact me at or 1-802-369-9137 to purchase these or other paintings.

A Testimonial

From Reverend Samuel Speers, Assistant Dean for Campus Life; Director, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Vassar College:

"Jay Mead has been serving as artist-in-residence and artistic consultant for our “BIG Art” programs in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Vassar College for ten years.  “BIG Art” was Jay’s typically creative and generous term for a range of projects that are dedicated to giving students and community members skills in making public art and changing local communities.

With Jay’s guidance, our students created a marvelous giant puppet story about the history of religious life at the college for a grand celebration of our chapel’s centennial.  Jay has a gift for meeting students where they are, and helping them discover their passions, abilities, and confidence. He taught our students how to make community murals and mosaic tile benches for a new community garden near campus.  Jay led stilt-walking workshops for our students, not simply as a physical feat, but as a practice of street theater; our student stilt-walkers became a thrilling addition to the local community street festival.

In these and many more projects, Jay combines the gifts of a master teacher, a visionary artist, and a skilled craftsman and builder. It is hard to imagine one person combines all three of these abilities, but Jay does.  And it’s why I keep inviting him back to Vassar, year after year."

Read more testimonials of Jay's teaching and view videos here.
Copyright © 2017, Jay Mead, all rights reserved.
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