“I use my hands, my heart, and critical thinking to make artist books, installations, mixed-media sculpture, and works on paper.
I use materials that surprise and stimulate associative and visceral reactions in an effort to spark curiosity and create an opening for transformative self-reflection. Through my creative process I examine and convey the complexities, contradictions and injustices of our world.
I am fascinated by unconventional materials. I balance wishbones, weave human hair, and celebrate poetry by casting shadows from burned magnolia leaves and twisting wire. I utilize drawing, printmaking, sculpting, carving, and sewing.
I use humor, imagination, irony, urgency, and agency to explore intersectional feminism exposing all forms of discrimination. I know racism is embedded in our institutions therefore white privilege needs to be part of every discussion. I listen to the silence of our climate crisis and I am terrified. I believe our relationship to the natural world is paramount.
Artist books are sculptural and they unfold over time; they can have text and imagery or not; they tell a story; they layer content with transparent ink/translucent paper; and they dive deep to explore a particular topic. The artist book can take many years to complete, so sometimes I take these dense intimate explorations and nurture them to grow into installations, where the viewer enters the work and becomes part of the work.
Owed to The Mountain is a sculptural artist book – the box unfolds one leaf at a time, to reveal each of the four directions. The Mountain is featured in four different printmaking techniques: West face – etching, North face – wood engraving, East face – lithograph, and South face – reduction woodcut. There are four linoleum cut river prints and three handset, letterpress-printed stories from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The box opens flat and in the center a paper mountain peeks through a cloud layer held up by five tree trunks. There are three handmade paper mountain skins nested inside one another. The outermost layer is made with celadonite pigment and accentuated with white ink exposing words. The middle surface details the dwindling glaciers and the innermost represents the volcanic strata. Beneath the mountain rests a fine press book. Animal ink drawings in colorful ecosystems and habitats appear among the text, documenting the changing seasons. The stories weave multiple Native voices that underscore the value of friendship, reciprocity, interdependence, and cooperation. Owed to The Mountain cultivates a powerful story that inspires knowing a place deeply, sharing Indigenous wisdom, and building a community that turns its love for a mountain into action. Mt. Hood has the 6th largest carbon stores of all National Forests in the country! By galvanizing a movement that advocates for the US Forest Service management plan to be updated, Mt Hood can be celebrated and treated as a living ecosystem and increase its climate resilience. Through this project’s research, interviews, and by spending time on the mountain, I understand how important it is that we protect clean drinking water, promote wildlife habitat restoration, support forest maturation, and prioritize the vision and cultural traditions of Native communities, including the practice of controlled burns. We owe it to the Mountain.”
Diane Jacobs received her MFA in printmaking from San Francisco State University in 1996, during which time she received a Leo D. Stillwell Graduate Scholarship (1995). After finishing her degree she was awarded a James D. Phelan Award in printmaking (1997) and a Kala Art Institute Fellowship (1997). In 1999, she was granted a Women’s Studio Workshop Artist Book Residency. In 2000 Jacobs received a prestigious Artadia award while living in San Francisco, CA. After moving to Portland, OR in 2002 Jacobs received four Regional Arts & Cultural Council Project Grants (2019, 2012, 2008 & 2005). She also received two RACC Professional Development Grants (2009, 2014) and a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission in 2010 and with additional funding from The Ford Family Foundation in 2015 & 2020. Diane has been selected for several residency opportunities: Signal Fire’s – Alpenglow Artist Backpacking Residency (2013) & Hart Mountain: Great Blanket of Stars Artist Campout (2017), PLAYA artist residency (2016) ), Kala Art Institute Parent Residency Award (2017), Golden Spot Award – Leland Iron Works Artist-in-Residence (2018), Pine Meadow Ranch Artist-in-Residence (2019), In Cahoots Artist Residency (2019), and a 2020 Travel Assistance Grant from the College Book Art Association to attend the 2020 CBAA Conference in New Orleans where she presented with colleague Alisa Banks. Jacobs received an Artadia Grant for past awardees in 2020, CBAA awarded Diane a Support Grant in 2021, and she received a Puffin Grant in 2022. Diane lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two sons (who are now away at college). Her prints, sculptural work, and artist books are in The Portland Art Museum, The Getty Research Institute Library, SFMOMA, the De Young Fine Arts Museum, Achenbach Foundation, The New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, Walker Art Center, Savannah College of Art and Design, University of Alberta, University of Chicago Library, University of Miami, Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, Yale, Stanford, and Reed College among others.
Diane lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two sons (who are now away at college). Her prints, sculptural work, and artist books are in The Portland Art Museum, The Getty Research Institute Library, SFMOMA, the De Young Fine Arts Museum, Achenbach Foundation, The New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, Walker Art Center, Savannah College of Art and Design, University of Alberta, University of Chicago Library, University of Miami, Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, Yale, Stanford, and Reed College among others.