Since the 1980s, Jackie Ferrara's work has evolved from architectural table-top constructions of interlocking lengths of wood towards public art projects referencing pyramids, courtyards, arenas, theaters, archways, loggias, wall and floor sections, passageways, pool houses and towers. Interested in mathematical systems, she uses incremental progressions to create structures. Repeated permutations of surface openings made slits of light, causing dramatic contrasts of light and shadow.
Ferrara describes her process as "creating places". Her sources lie in architecture and landscape architecture, in graphics and design, in mathematics, cinema and theater. She looks for connections: spatial, visual, historical, environmental, and architectural while believing in a dramatic potential of the site which invites participation, a reason to stop, investigate, and absorb.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, sculptor and public artist Jackie Ferrara lives and works in New York City. Since the seventies she has been using the forms and materials usually associated with architecture in order to enrich the definition of sculpture and challenge the assumptions and conventions of the typical built environment.
Her public works include an amphitheater at the L.A. County Museum of Art, a fountain at the University of Houston, 1.5 miles of canal banks along Arizona Canal in Phoenix, and more. She has received awards and grants from many organizations including the American Society of Landscape Architects, Stone Institute's Tucker Award of Design Excellence, American Institute of Architects, Art Commission of the City of New York, New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Her sculpture is in the collections of many museums including Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, MOMA, Brooklyn Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of Contemporary Art, Bentonville AR, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Phillips Collection, Washinton D.C., and the Walker Art Center.