University of Mobile Hosts ‘Pressing Matters’ by Artist Jessica Smith

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Date(s) - March 5, 2019 - April 4, 2019
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Alabama School of Arts at University of Mobile


“Mold-making is my effort to celebrate systems of mass-production while recognizing the tender reality that each cast offers slight fluctuations,” said artist Jessica Smith. This representation of the American candy culture, combined with Smith’s own point of view, will be on display starting March 5 in the Pressing Matters exhibit in the Alabama School of the Arts at University of Mobile.

The public is invited to view this exhibit during gallery hours. Admission is free. Pressing Matters will be on display weekdays through April 4, Mondays – Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Martin Gallery on campus.

Smith will discuss her work at a free artist talk at 11 a.m. on April 4. 

The inspiration for Smith’s tessellating sculptures comes from the American candy culture. She uses a press-mold to create clay gummy bears replicating a childhood candy preference. 

Smith explained how, through the pressing process, the clay “experiences rebirth” in comparison to the clay reclaiming process.

“Ultimately, there is an erosion of the original mold because a mold breaks down the more it is used,” said Smith. “These sculptural forms speak toward obsessive compulsion and the comfort of smallness.”

She said because ceramics is a material which “responds to its environment,” the pieces must be sculpted with care, stored with caution, and confidently blazed to completion.

“I find joy in making sense of this sculptural space that toes the line between balanced precision and the edge of chaos,” Smith said.

For information about the exhibit or visual arts events in the Alabama School of the Arts, contact Philip Counselman, chair of the Department of Art, at 251.442.2283 or