Jai Schmidt is an American-born non-binary insterdisciplinary artist who works with a wide variety of materials in order to create a visual message. Their work investigates trauma as it is related to the body and the earth. Jai is exploring concepts for creating large-scale site-specific work focusing on biospheric relationships, healing, and ecological restoration. 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 connects with the land through creating mineral pigments, collecting seeds, sustainable foraging, medicine making and documentation, therefore their work inevitably expands into many forms including digital photography, video, sculpture, installation, writing, and song. Jai is currently working on Temples project where they plan to create site-specific work on land affected by the recent wildfires on the west coast of the USA.
"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 widespread 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. "