Kenny Jensen is a multidisciplinary artist with a deep connection to and concern for Florida’s unique wilderness. His diverse conceptual practice includes the collection and manipulation of found specimen, sculpture, installation, painting, photography, graphic design, video, and performance art.
Kenny has been involved with the Tampa Bay arts community as an exhibiting artist and as an orchestrator of dozens of cross-discipline group exhibitions both in grassroots and official gallery settings for nearly 20 years. He has worked with multiple St. Petersburg based organizations including the Museum of Fine Arts, and The Morean Arts Center where he was a primary orchestrator of Project Creo – the contemporary art and site-specific installation space at the former Pier from 2003 to 2006. During this very formative period he had the opportunity to work with and learn from local, regional and international artists. Most recently he was the Gallery Curator at The Studio@620 which he left this past spring to focus on developing his vocation as a professional artist.
The first major step toward realizing this goal was his premier solo exhibition in 2015 at The Studio@620 entitled Intimate Immensities ~ Curiosity Cabinets of the Floating Woods. This wide-ranging collection featured several visually distinct yet thematically interwoven bodies of work including over 100 sculptures, images and artifacts, from large installations of swamp driftwood to minute drawings on fragile, decayed paper. This exhibition was received with much enthusiasm by the community and has led to several subsequent opportunities, including a group exhibition at Yale University Divinity School, an upcoming two-person exhibition in September 2017 at the Morean Arts Center and a solo exhibition in summer 2018 at The Dunedin Fine Arts Center.
Many of his inspirations and source materials are gathered from extensive stalking in and around his family land in rural Gulf Hammock, FL (The Floating Woods), and from his work as a local landscape gardener. The varied artworks emerge through linking these wanderings/dwellings in the field with a similar studio practice, allowing the intuitive process of making to guide the direction and meaning of the artwork. His current practice is expanding to reproduce these found forms and patterns with more traditional sculptural materials and bright unnatural colors.
Like the naturalists of old who ventured into the unknown returning with strange curiosities to contemplate and impart, he is a collector and composer of common phenomena hidden just beneath the surface of the natural environment all around us. By representing these findings in beautiful and unexpected ways, Kenny seeks to open up new ways of seeing ourselves and our palace in the world and encourage a more grounded connection to the earth we were given to live and move and have our being.