Margaret Jacobs ’08 is a sculptor, jewelry designer, and artist. She has held several artist residencies including at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT where she received a Native American Fellowship through the Harpo Foundation. Jacobs has shown throughout the United States including at FLYNNDOG in Burlington, VT; Home and Away Gallery in Kennebunkport, ME; and 516 Arts in Albuquerque, NM. Her work has been featured online at Creative Ground, the Upper Valley Arts Alliance, and Mic. You can learn more about Jacobs and her work at her website, MargaretJacobs.com.
What inspires you as an artist and as a person?
Strong and interesting narratives have always been a huge inspiration for me, whether they are in a book, movie, story, photograph, etc. For me, if something has a unique narrative then I find myself pulling inspiration and creative energy from it.
Materials also heavily inspire my work. While I have a conceptual thread or story behind what I am creating, I like to work with the material I’ve chosen and see how its properties can lend itself to what I am trying to convey. I’m very much about using a material or process in an organic matter to see how and what it can lend to the work and add to my story.
Your work explores the tension between manufactured objects and items from the natural world. Is there any material, natural or man-made, that you would especially like to work with, but haven’t had a chance to explore yet?
I would love to do some bronze casting in the near future. Generally, I work with metals using an additive process so it would be great to work a little differently and create a variety of molds and castings.
In general, I’m drawn to materials that have a combination of textures or can be used to make a combination of textures and surfaces. A friend recently gave me some dyed Icelandic fish skins. They are quite remarkable in that they are a soft, pliable material but the color and textures makes them look quite hard and tough. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them but I’m looking forward to using them in my work!
You’re active in the Dartmouth alumni community, sitting on the board of directors for the Native American Alumni Association. Why is it important to you to maintain a connection to the College?
Dartmouth was a very different environment for me and I had a tricky time adjusting to this new and different place that seemed very foreign. Thankfully, I had several fantastic support groups that helped me through my time there but I know many students do not have the same experience.
I want to be a resource and an advocate for native and non-native students who have trouble transitioning to the college. I think many students have a hard time asking for help. Many of us who attended Dartmouth did so with the help of a community and I think most alumni want to give back and help in some way. For me, volunteering on the NAAAD board was the best way to do this.