Jaz Graf is an interdisciplinary artist in paper, print and book making. She works with non-profits and city officials to coordinate public initiatives which raise awareness of natural resources, endangered practices, advocate for inclusivity, and engage the arts as a catalyst for social responsibility. Recent collaborative projects have included healing through art with Veterans, increasing visibility of transboundary rivers through conservation photography and contemporizing cross-cultural narratives through Southeast Asian traditions.
Throughout history, humankind has looked to the natural world for understanding the foundations of life and the essence of existence. Emphasizing states of sedimentary material, as physical and metaphorical reference to the cyclical complexion of life/death, growth/decay, transformation/stasis. Jaz Graf investigates the meaning of familial roots, reimagining humanity’s relationship to earth. The ways in which this connection can be understood are dependent on visual or symbolic representations and through experiential knowledge of sensing physicality and materiality. Her conceptual concerns and material investigations explore fragmental anatomies of riverine expanses through the use of sediment and through its topographic depiction.
The work of Jaz Graf delves through the meaning of familial roots, reimagining humanity’s relationship to earth. Considering the layered histories, mythologies and ecological aspects of the landscape, her work ruminates on our connection to place, the location of identity, and the paradox of presence. With an interest in rivers, particularly in their accumulation and redistribution of sedimentary and biological material, Jaz evokes themes regarding the cyclical complexion of life/death, growth/decay, and transformation/stasis.
Her active involvement in local arts groups, curatorial projects and presentations are often coupled with a passion for raising awareness of freshwater resources. Jaz Graf has exhibited locally and internationally, has been featured in AM New York News, The Jersey Journal and she is the former Vice President of Manhattan Graphics Center in New York and Board Member of ProArts Hudson County. Graf holds a Master of Arts degree in Studio Art Printmaking from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmedia from the University of Iowa.
Jaz Graf’s most recent body of work juxtaposes synthetic and raw materials, the virtual gaze with organic imprints, and satellite imagery with dust. It sets in motion, a contemporary discourse around transnational relations, intergenerational memory, diasporic studies, and cultural preservation in its approach to bond and to bridge cross-culturally and across disciplines.