Working Hands | Jessica Considine, Angela Larson, & Kelly O'Neill

Exhibition & Events

Jessica Considine, Angela Larson, & Kelly O'Neill

Exhibition Dates: January 11 - February 25, 2023

Reception: Thursday, January 26, 2023, from 5 - 7 PM

The artists of the 'Working Hands' exhibition are the recipients of the Elizabeth Charles Award.

Elizabeth Charles believed in the arts as a vehicle for self-expression and as a means to develop a deeper understanding of our humanity. As a student, Elizabeth actively championed human equity and diversity. In 2020, the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center and Elizabeth's father, Norm Charles, established the fund in her honor. Funding is provided by Norm Charles, Phyllis Mellon, as well as additional funders who seek to continue her championship by supporting Michigan artists and amplifying their voices through monetary awards and promotions. Preference will be given to artists with a vision for or emphasis on enhancing awareness and equity across race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ethnicity.

'Working Hands' Exhibition Statement

The core concept of our exhibition is a celebration of women welders and their unique creations. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind sculpture using steel or aluminum to create multi-media contemporary and abstract art. Most artists, using metal and welding as the foundation of their art, are men. It is unusual to find women in this field. Yet, we found our artistic inspiration in this trade. All 3 of us use metal as a foundation of our aesthetic, then add other mediums to tell a story or create a unique visual experience. Our 3-D work is conceptual and leverages recycled metal to inspire each piece. Both Kelly and Angela work in steel and clay. Kelly also adds fused glass to her pieces, while Jessica works in aluminum and copper and her jewelry background adds finesse to her sculptures. This sculptural exhibition demonstrates a diversity of skills and talents. Our friendship and respect for each other has helped each of us grow as artists.

Artist Statements

Jessica Considine

"My story with metal starts with jewelry-making courses that my high school offered. I thrived in this atmosphere of creating jewelry with non-precious metals. After high school, I pursued bench jeweler jobs but found they required a degree relating to jewelry or years of experience. I had none of those requirements, but being tenacious, I found my way into a jewelry store that had Mastercraft jewelers on-site. I started as a cashier and worked my way into an apprenticeship with the jewelers where I learned how to repair and create jewelry with precious metals. Simultaneously, I was creating jewelry for myself and attended my local community college. In 2016, I started my business Sculpted Roots, where I made and sold jewelry out of a workshop in my basement. College courses introduced me to metal sculpting while I continued with my apprenticeship and running my business. Metal sculpting classes opened my eyes to a whole new world of metal crafting. I fell in love with creating large-scale metal sculptures and desired the skills needed to create fine art. My fascination with metal only grew deeper during this time, as I was drawn to welding and fabrication. I decided to pursue getting my Associates Degree in Welding and Certificates in Metal Sculpting and Metal Fabrication. After this, I started creating and selling metal sculptures at local art fairs and online. I have been featured in several news segments for my art and have competed in metal sculpting competitions. Currently, I am a custom fabricator/welder for a company in Detroit. This position allows me to continue creating my one-of-a-kind sculptures and advancing my
skills as a welder, fabricator, and metal sculptor. I love what I do, and I do what I love."

Angela Larson

"All of my work involves the use of reclaimed metal found in scrap yards or donated by friends. The challenge of organizing junk into an artistically intelligent statement entices me. I am attracted to the interesting shapes and textures metal can exhibit. The cut made by the flame, the glistening from polishing, and the patterns of rust created by weathering, all intrigue me. I often add color by powder coating and incorporate my pottery into some metal sculptures which add even more color and textural elements. Creative influences are derived from objects observed in nature and the intuitive adventures of my imagination. The transformation of steel which is inorganic, machine-like, cold, hard, and non-referential, into a drawing in space with organic qualities that flow with energy seems to be what evolves."

Kelly O'Neill

"My creative expression is articulated through the manipulation of recycled metal. The idea starts with one or two pieces of inspirational metal, which will form the idea. From there, I allow each new piece to build upon the previous piece creating a sculpture and composition of shapes upon shapes depending on the viewpoint from the piece. I look for pieces of metal that have an affinity for one another and then I work to create harmony and balance. Each shape contributes to the final form. The exploration of the positive and negative space, the composition, and the three-dimensional process results in something unique that usually surprises me.

My work reflects creating sculptures from a linear piece of metal. Creating 3-dimensional shapes from a 2-dimensional piece of metal.

I experience my artist flow when I allow my intuition to drive my creative process."