Jason Briggs

Artist Statement

At 8 years old I saw my first Playboy spread. The nature of that experience — pure, primal, and singular — remains a catalyst. These were clearly magazine photos — flat images on semi-gloss stock — but my instinctive response was to touch skin; I held her page to my bare chest in a delusional bear hug. My imagination went haywire.

On one level, these pieces are part of an ongoing effort to document and expand upon that pre-adolescent moment. Though my objects contain strong visual references, I am more interested in the implied tactile ones; the things that stir in me a compulsion to touch. While manipulating porcelain, I recognize — and act upon — a profound desire to push, poke, squeeze, stroke, caress, and pinch. I intend for my pieces to invoke a similar sort of temptation: to dare the viewer to touch.

Or better yet, to imagine touching.


Briggs, Jason (b. 1972, Wausau, WI, lives in The Black Hills, SD).  After getting his BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Jason did a Summer Residency at the Archie Bray Foundations, then three years as artist-in-residence at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, TN. In 2008 Jason delivered an Emerging Artist lecture at the NCECA conference, and was soon invited as a visiting artist to The Taiwan National University of Art in Taipei, as well as several universities stateside. He received a Tennessee Arts Commission Grant in 2006 and a Virginia Groot Foundation Fellowship in 2007.  A year later Jason was featured in Ceramics Art & Perception (issue #79–“Not So Private Parts”). From 1999-2012 he ran the Ceramics department for Belmont University in Nashville, learning first-hand what it means to be adjunct labor. Currently making work at their home near Rapid City, Jason and his ranching wife Meagan maintain a studio, three cats, two cats, a dog, two kids, and all their marbles.