Jack Wax explores facets of both two- and three-dimensional expressions, creating mixed media sculpture, glass objects, and ink and graphite drawings. Spending time in Japan, California and New York, elements of Western and Eastern culture weaves itself into his obsessive, back-painted drawings. Thin lines of ink form delicate patterns both organic and geometric, creating visions of nets, intricate specimens, or imagined cages. With the glass works, Wax designs abstract pieces in reaction to early cultural art objects and artifacts. Hand-blown and molded, the glass mimics the intimate quality of his drawings, expressing a precision yet decided imperfection latent in hand-made pieces. Across all works, his subjects are mysterious yet seemingly living; each form conjures natural elements of the land or body, emitting its own personality. In a recent article, Wax states “I never make the same thing twice, because once I make something I have learned everything I can learn from it.”
Wax was born in 1954 in the Hudson River Valley region. He received his BFA from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design (1978, 1983). He has held teaching positions at the Tyler School of Art, Ohio State University, The Cleveland Institute of Art, RISD, and Toyama Institute in Japan. Currently, he is a professor in Richmond at VCUarts, where he is head of the Glass Department in Craft and Material Studies. He is a two time recipient of Individual Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, was nominated three times for a Tiffany Foundation Grant, was a recipient of an Illinois State Council of the Arts Grant, and he has done residencies in Istanbul Turkey at Cam Ocagi, at The Corning Museum in Corning NY, and on the Island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. His work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum, CA; Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; Tittot Museum, Taipei; Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; and in the corporate collections of Altria Group and Markel Corporation, both, Richmond, VA.