IN BJ's WORDS: "I most enjoy making artwork that combines moving, curved lines with negative space. Line, implied movement, balance of elements and rhythm are the foundations of my art; That's what makes my heart sing." She smiles widely. "I like to always learn and take risks," adds B.J., who was encouraged early on by the renown Artisan House's director and founder, Jerry Fels. "He took me under his wing and became my mentor and friend. My first metal art drawings that I submitted to Jerry were pretty amateurish," she recalls with a grimace, "but he just went crazy over my two-foout tall, pop-art metal can opener that I did as this silly school project, and he enlarged my design to four feet in height and asked me to create a whole series of kitchen-themed wall sculptures." After 35 years, this kitchen line is still highly sought after and sold by the company.
While B.J. had her beginnings in representational work, she was never content to remain in one place. She had the gutsiness to step out of her comfort zone and try new directions. It was only a year after her kitchen series that her work moved almost exclusively into abstract designs, emphasizing the graceful lines and movement she saw in nature. She experimented with variations in welding, soldering and sanding to achieve different finishes and looks. Taking her mentor's lead, she moved away from the safety of small sculptures and created works closer to 8 ft. Within a few years, nearly all of her work was non-objective, the quality of which elevated her work to the level of fine art.
The three C.Jeré sculptures above are just a few of her indoor/outdoor sculptures, standing 8 ft. tall. One of her favorites is the one below, called "Cross Wind":
Whenever one turns on the television or a movie and sees a large standing or tabletop metal sculpture in an office or lobby, 9 times out of 10, it is one of BJ's works under the pseudonym of C.Jeré. (see Artist History for a sampling of some of the TV shows and movies in which her sculptures have been used.)
All material is copyrighted by Linnie Aikens and permission must be granted for use by anyone else. It must be clarified that the thoughts expressed in this blog are the opinions and interpretations solely of the author, and may or not be of the artist.