Iowa Artists: Jean-Marie Salem
Jean-Marie Salem has an amazing collection of bones. She uses them in her artwork, using them as inspiration to make delicate and subtly colored bones from blown glass.
"Pile of bones on the floor" was one of her submissions to the 2005 Iowa Artists exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center's Downtown gallery.
But, there's more to Jean-Marie's artistic explorations. She feels like a hybrid of many aspects of American culture -- she has African-American parentage, but as a baby, was adopted by a caucasian family in Dubuque. She grew up Catholic, but found out her birth mother was from New Orleans and probably practiced Voudou religion, which is, itself, formed by the confluence of numerous cultures.
She explores Voudou symbolism in her art, talking about it like an anthropologist, and commenting on its many similarities with the practices of Catholics.
Living in Iowa learns about this artist's broad-ranging interests and visits her studios in her West Des Moines home.