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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Inspired by the Natural Elements

Albert Einstein wrote, "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." Few professions are more responsible for developing the foundation for "creative expression and knowledge" than our nation's art teachers. These gifted individuals harness multidimensional minds, connect the left and right brains, and create an open and accepting environment for all children to flourish. Jenifer Oberle, an art teacher and artist, has guided hundreds of children through the forest of their imagination toward personal creativity. Today, inspired by the rich hues of desert landscapes Jenifer creates one-of-a kind ceramic pieces for homes and gardens.

Jenifer grew up in Franklin, Ohio. She states, “My parents, both musicians, nurtured a deep appreciation for the arts and encouraged their children to explore their creative thinking and personal expression.” “From the beginning, I loved to draw, paint, and sculpt. By the age of 12, I began taking children's oil painting classes, advancing into adult classes by the time I was age 15.” On her way to making her mark on the diverse world of artists, Jenifer enrolled at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she completed her Bachelor’s in Art Education. After graduation, she entered the teaching field as an art educator, and the better part of the next 30 years was a balancing act between “creative artist” and “creative teacher.”

Eventually, Jenifer and her husband moved to Arizona full-time to enjoy the gorgeous climate and pursue her Art full time. She found her passion in hand-built clay forms; however, she soon graduated to perfect her talents using the potter's wheel under the direction of ceramic artist Peter Flynn. Jenifer now rents studio space close to her home at Ground Floor Artists in Surprise, Arizona. She states, “I love the facilities, including studio space for artists, all working in a variety of media, a gallery for exhibitions, and classrooms where artists can share their talents with the community.” Jenifer also says, “I enjoy the communal aspect of sharing and collaborating with other artists that also work in the space.”

“I am more inspired by the brilliant desert florals in Arizona gardens and taking that inspiration into sculptural ceramics.”

Although Jenifer makes pottery for indoor spaces, she states, “I am more inspired by the brilliant desert florals in Arizona gardens and taking that inspiration into sculptural ceramics.” In addition, “I love to experiment with natural stains adding jewel tones for the unexpected Southwest desert ‘pop’ of color.” Recently Jenifer began adding metal accents to add a bit of glitz and creating large pieces to make bolder statements for her pieces. Jenifer exhibits with groups she belongs to; The Ground Floor Artists in Surprise, The Sonoran Arts League, and the Arizona Clay Association.

Between gallery shows and her creative production schedule, Jenifer enjoys working on commissions for people's gardens, homes, and offices. Her elegantly inspired wall and garden installations provide unique conversation pieces for any indoor or outdoor space. Ceramic artist Jenifer Oberle’s is a member of the Sonoran Arts League, the Ground Floor Artists, and the Arizona Clay Association. Jenifer participates in the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour in November and in exhibits throughout the year with the Ground Floor artists. To discuss a commission piece Jenifer may be contacted via her email.


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