Jennifer Harley is an artist and educator based in Flatbush, Brooklyn. She creates site-specific sculptures that explore the complex personal and social histories of labor as they are expressed through our bodies and the physical objects we interact with every day. Jennifer uses materials central to housework, industry, and her family's migration narrative to disrupt established value systems in art and labor. With a specific focus on everyday materials used in domestic, farm, and industrial labor including cooking oil, shoe polish, rhinestones, hair nets, cotton, and industrial plastics. Her work is committed to craft techniques and unpacking the role they play in social activism by using them to recontextualize historically undervalued laborers and art practices.
Each of Jennifer’s sculptures grows out of extensive historical research and personal interviews. Layering the historical, personal, and imagined her sculptures investigate the many ways migrants from rural communities reshape urban settings and the relationship of economic mobility to labor and migration.
Jennifer received a BFA in Sculpture and a BS in Art Management from Appalachian State University in 2014. She has worked in Education and Public Programing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of the City of New York and is currently the School and Educator Programs Coordinator at The Studio Museum in Harlem.