"Fantastical Stone Sculptures"
by Jesse Ensling
The exhibition will be presented in the Blue Gallery, from May 2 - May 27, 2023.
Opening Reception, May 5, from 5-8pm
Art was always something of interest even from an early age, however, stone carving for master sculptor Jesse Ensling, started later in life. He was introduced in college going toward a fine arts degree that required taking a sculpting course. Searle Lansing-Jones had a strict, hard reputation that frightened everyone but, after finally taking the course, Jesse found Lansing-Jones to be a wonderful man who became his first mentor. He encouraged Jesse to apply for a course studying marble carving with Milo Lazaravic in Pietrasanta, Italy through Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. There Jesse learned about carving stone with hammer and chisel, pneumatic s, grinding tools, art and real Italian food! There was an instant connection with stone carving, traveling, and Italy.
After returning from Italy, Jesse moved to NYC and worked in stone at the New School with Phillip Pavia. Hammer and chisel were used during studio time and pneumatic tools were allowed during assigned hours after studio time. Moving on to the School of Visual Arts with Barbara Segal he was introduced to digital carving but, found pneumatics his favorite choice. He learned from these great sculptors that have given their knowledge and the encouragement to grow in this medium. They have shaped his appreciation for stone carving and its texture, strength and density.
Carving each piece from picking out the stone to mounting it for a show is all part of the process that is so very gratifying. Seeing it as a rough stone and being able to visualize what will be put on the pedestal is amazing.
Stone Carving connects Jesse to this ancient form of expression giving him a voice to express a love of nature. Besides creating a series of shells in exotic stones that are true to nature, Jesse wants to create a new series of botanical pieces in stone and figurative works in wire. These new works will be all about color, texture and volume to express his style in both a realistic and impressionistic manner.
When Jesse takes a break from sculpting to change things up his goes to the canvas and works on landscapes and seascapes. He likes to paint in oils to create impressionistic works that don’t always represent a specific place but, one that lets him take out the human element so he can believe in a place that hasn’t been damaged by mankind. He enjoys mixing colors for still-life paintings that hone his skills in making a 2-D canvas look 3-D. This has always been a struggle for Jesse because he naturally thinks and sees things in volume not flat surfaces. He is working towards a more atmospheric mood rather than realistic mood.