Jai Schmidt is a non-binary insterdisciplinary artist currently living in SW USA. Their work investigates trauma and resilience as it is related to the body and the earth. Jai's life work includes large-scale site-specific installation, natural pigment paintings, woodblock printing, paper-making, weaving, performance, sound and video projection. Jai has created landart in Quillota (Chile), Parque Nacional Yendegaia(Chile), Johnson Valley (CA, USA), and Los Padres National Forest (CA, USA) where they integrate regenerative practices informed by research and observations of the land itself. Jai received their BFA in painting at Daemen College (NY,2015), studied land stewardship throughout Chile (2016-17), became an activist in Patagonia Chile (2017), Received a 3 month mentorship with Cata Calores at Ecoescuela Vivencial in the lower Atacama Desert, Studied wildcrafting in Oregon (2018), studied radical buddhist meditation (Dhamma Dena, Joshua Tree, CA 2019), Received their certification in Regenerative agriculture and Advanced social systems design with the Women's Permaculture Guild specializing in Arid Climate adaptation with mentorship from Meiling Colorado (2020), and works occasionally with Linda Sibio learning about interdisciplinary art and mental illness (2020-current). Jai has been an artist in Residence at A-Z West in Joshua Tree, CA (2022) and at UTE AIR in Sunshine Valley, NM (2021-2022). Jai is currently working on printing The Desert Rat Oracle, which is a 44 card deck of symbolic cards including household objects, tools for land stewardship, creatures, and plants. All cards are printed on 100% recycled handmade paper, ink made from charred wood, and woodblocks carved from burch. Jai is currently most interested in creating intimate space for introspection through collaborative readings, performance, and hand-poke tattoo.
"I am a Biospheric artist informed by intensive re-integration and decolonization through solitude in the wilderness, feminist stewardship and herbalism. I consider the whole ecosystem when creating land-based spaces and objects. Art is my tool for transforming trauma. My largest land-based sculpture, Rainwater Harvest, is a 300 ft contour swale located in the Mojave Desert (USA) made to catch rainwater during the wet season, a walkway during dry times, and is the foundation for a food forest. This work is both aesthetic and utilitarian. All of my current work is created using regenerative practices which is accelerated by community involvement. My process is interdisciplinary extending beyond installation into paper, paint, and ink making, sculpture, mapping, and weaving. My intention with creating large-scale land based work is to reconnect humans to the sacred cyclical nature we all embody. "