Resonant Forms Exhibitions  2011

  • This is an Exhibition not to be missed. 

In this exhibition I've created a temporary installation entitled  Message in a Bottle/ Scent of Magnolia.

Message in a Bottle/ Scent of Magnolia is a sculpture installation project that explores the meaning of personal courage and land conservation. At Gateway, the viewer is given an up close and personal view of sculpture componants. Come be a part of this important project that I am working to complete.



Cleveland Public Art Project: Buckeye Community




My proposed sculpture project, entitled Family Circle, celebrates the Buckeye site and establishes a meaningful place of welcome for the community. Family Circle creates a dynamic place that encircles and invites users through the space and towards the campus buildings. Upon entry, viewers are invited on a journey of exploration and discovery through natural materials, tactile surfaces, ancient symbols, icons, patterns and colors.


Conceptually, the Buckeye Project design examines the evolutionary nature of our advance through time and space in a broad context. It reaches over time to acknowledge glacial epochs, and topographical changes. Cycles of change encoded in the landscape and in the changing stories of human lives are signified. Symbolic artifacts connect diverse cultures entwined in destiny forming Buckeye’s rich community history. Family Circle honors the site and proclaims that we are all heirs to this remarkable place and epic story.

My Initial concepts are drawn from the extraordinary story of Cleveland’s earth formations and their history.

Cleveland’s oldest stone formation is the bed-rock of the Paleozoic era.

In the Paleozoic era, coal, limestone, shale, and sandstone deposits of the Ohio region were formed.


In the excavation of the St. Luke’s Pointe site, large sandstone boulders were unearthed. In keeping with the “Green Campus” initiative, stones were preserved for use in the landscape design.

The structure of natural stone outcroppings will provide an opportunity to engage a small portion of the geological history of the site. It presents the ancient stones as artifacts and reveals the complex processes at work in the environment to students and visitors of the campus. Cleveland is known for its outcroppings of Devonian shale and sandstone.


Outcroppings of stone connect us to ancient events, revealing layers of time and earthly resources beyond mortal time. Stones are important markers connecting us with ancient primordial events.


Living Artifacts are preserved, revealed and celebrated by the Family Circle sculpture project. Specimen quality old trees embellish the site, adding a legacy of grandeur and layers of history. The mighty oak has, throughout the centuries, been the subject of story, song and proverb. More than 80 species of this beautiful tree are found in North America.  All oaks are deciduous trees with toothed leaves and heavy, furrowed bark. A large Northern red oak (Quercus rubra) anchors the corner entrance of the Harvey Rice School /Public Library campus.  It dominates the site, enfolding the place in shade and the calming embrace of a mature majestic shade tree.


The towering red oak is encircled with a series of cast concrete low seat walls that float along the drip line of the tree to ensure its root safety.

Each seat wall is anchored by outcroppings of stones scattered along the bench wall surfaces and ground plane. Visitors entering the circle are engaged in a matrix of energy, observation and reflection. Viewers move between encounters with ancient earth stones and reflective glass mosaics.


Designated portions of the seat walls are shrouded in glass mosaic renderings of indigenous textile designs from African, Hungarian and Native American cultures. These emblems of ancient cultures and iconic forms enliven the circle with the cumulative energy and creativity of the diverse human family.




  1. African American Quilt Pattern Mosaic constructed in studio


Hungarian Textile Mosaic Pattern


NJena, studio assistant packing mosaic segments  for transport to Cleveland


We are now in Cleveland on site  to begin construction of poured concrete forms.


The earth reveals its textures colors and aromatic dampness.


Sandstone boulders were unearthed and excuvated from their ancient resting places to be used in The Family Circle.


Seven concrete arched bench forms were poured against the curves and crevasses of amorphous stone boulders.


Installation of Mosaic Textile onto poured concrete bench forms, encircled with stones

The ground is cold, wet, and hard, Cleveland's lake effect commanded rain and dark clouds for ten streight days durning installation.











My Installation Crew, (from left to right) Janet Jackson, Martha Jackson Jarvis , Njena Surae Jarvis and, Tiffany Graham ,Project Manager Cleveland Public Art. The power and determination of four good Women made manefest.....


Stories in the Stones

While mind traveling on my yoga matt A vision resurfaced of a collaborative project completed in 2000. To date, its life has existed in the great abyss of my personal archive of curiosities and wonders. Travel with me now through time.... to Stories in the Stones.




Reading landscape reveals the past and foretells the future.

Every place embodies enduring stories that are deeply embedded in the shape and structure of landscape.


As contemporary heirs to public lands, artifacts and historical information, Stories in the Stones seeks to animate enliven and reconnect to the legacy of survival connected to the landscape. It encourages a sense of ownership of human resources and natural resources that surround us.

Inspired by the power of the landscape to inform and reveal layers of history and events. Inspiration for Stories in the Stones emerged from a neglected graveyard in Washington, DC. Now called Mt Zion Cemetery, the site was used by Montgomery Street Church beginning in 1809 for the interment of its members, their slaves and free black members of the church. In 1879 the land was sold to Mt Zion Church as a burial ground.

From this historic site arises an authentic narrative that is inextricably linked to the epic experience of the land and the diverse cultures implanted and encoded there. From ancient unmarked stones of enslaved and free Africans to inscribed names and lost memories of unknown ancestors, the stones speak eloquently of time, traditions and posterity.

This project seeks to reunite ancestral paths and bridges. As the project develops, patterns evolve from disparate ideas, artifacts, legends and lore. Native plants and natural resources of the site infuse the project with an element of environmental conservation that connects us to the past and protects some small part of the future.

Stories in the Stones reveals the process of encountering fragments of history, culture, and personal identity that affect the landscape and shape our view of the environment. It establishes a non-static view of the landscape, challenging our conventional sense of place and exposes unfamiliar and uncommon ground. The site is enlivened and set in motion through dance and masquerade. 



Stories in the Stones



Rainwater Installaton Honfleur Gallery

RAINWATER /East of the River Installation was created for the Honfleur Gallery Annual East of the River Group Exhibition

Highlighting arts and artists centric to areas East of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC.

Rainwater champions the primal replenishing source of energy of the Anacostia River. Towering Sumac saplings add shelter and structure that penetrate the architectural atrium of the gallery space, paying homage to the Nacotchtanke people who were famed traders along the banks of the of the ancient Anacostia. Rhythms of water and translucent colors cascade in layers anchored by medicine bags of tears and rain in Anacostia.

Gathering Sumac in the Eastern Forest

1241 Good Hope Road SE

Washington DC 20020


August 9, 2008 until September 22, 2008


Launch of Martha Jackson Jarvis Blog


Today marks the maiden voyage of the Martha Jackson Jarvis Blog. Welcome to the journey. I view this blog as an extraordinary opportunity to share a window into the process and adventure of creative thought as I navigate the waters of my vision and place on Earth as an artist.

We begin our journey today in Dushanbe, Tajikistan...

June 2008

I was fortunate to visit Tajikistan from June 5, to June 16, 2008 as a Cultural Envoy Artist for the US State Department.

Each day was strategically filled with intense activity and interaction with artists and people of Tajikistan.

Public lectures at the Bactria Cultural Center and the Art Institute were well attended, each having a diverse audience of artists, art critics, students, arts administrators and lay people of Dushanbe. Both lectures were presented as a comprehensive introduction to a contemporary artist’s point of view on public and environmental art. I shared images of rural Virginia where I was born and the southern landscape that had influenced my work. Digital photographs of previously executed works and public sculpture installations were presented and discussed. Elements of artistic organization and marketing were discussed in relationship to the world market and possible future contributions by artists.

Mumtoz Kamolzoda, a young, gifted video artist, provided language translation. Her depth and understanding of art facilitated seamless translation and transition from English to Russian and in some cases Tajik for the audiences. Master classes were conducted at the Art Institute and the Art College’s Summer Retreat in Varzob. Each master class was quite different, reflecting the character and accomplishment of the participating students.

Master Class at Art College's Summer house in VarzobSite Installation created at Varzob

Bundles of fuel and symbolic fire are spread among the cooling treesThe crowning achievement of the Tajikistan journey was  the creation of the Collaborative Public Art Project entitled, SHADE.  SHADE was created at the Bactria Cultural Center and opened as a public exhibition on June 15, 2008. This extraordinary experience of collaboration and exchange between artists was a landmark event. The collaboration brought together multi levels of age groups, both young Tajik artists and mature artists. 

 We began our collaboration with a day long trip into the countryside outside of Dushanbe to explore a village and mountain trails along the Varzob River. Gathering materials and experiences of encounters with native Tajik villagers, we experienced the generosity and authenticity of the people. We observed the closeness to nature and the seamless integration of architecture and the natural stone covered landscape. The stone and clay dwellings became habitat and shelter for humans and domestic animals. The symbiotic relationships were apparent in the recycling of animal dune for fuel and insulation, and in the yield of milk products and meat source. The village seemed quite self sufficient in providing the basic necessities of life off the grid of modern consumption.  

For each artist, this was a defining moment of inspiration and a look into the ingenuity of past history and a simultaneous look forward into the future, with this revelation and insight, we created SHADE .

SHADE is a collective sculpture project that explores the rhythmic systems of Earth as they collide with man made elements and reckless materials in the environment. It is the synthesis of the personal and the collective vision of artists as we journey across bridges, over rivers, along trails, around stones, through shelters, and climbing vines, to investigate dynamic systems at play in the eco- system.

The genesis of the collective work sprang from a chance encounter with a young Tajik boy along a mountain trail. Covered in lush green leaves, he balanced a huge bundle of fresh cut branches to "make shade for my house". The boy's small but magnanimous gesture of making shade became the metaphor for survival and futuristic cooling of the Earth. It symbolizes the global necessity for care giving to our collective home.            

Collectively, the eyes of artists look back through time and forward in time. It is through this God given window of observation that we see our survival linked to very ancient and basic ways of living collectively and conscientiously on Earth.

SHADE reaches across cultural borders, across time, and into the hearts of man.

This momentous exchange of ideas and culture made possible by the American Embassy of Dushanbe champions the validity of communication and exchange between people worlds apart to discover differences and synaptic points in culture.

The process of creating a meaningful public art project with artists of Tajikistan has left an indelible inspiration and impact on our lives as artists. The intellectual dialogue, the expression of experimentation and sense of accomplishment,

established by participating artists will continue to reverberate having resounding influence in the artistic community of Dushanbe and Washington, DC. 




SHADE reaches across cultural borders, across time, and into the hearts of man.

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