Jan Kirsh – Sculptor and Landscape Designer
As a child, Jan lived in South New Jersey, on the outskirts of Philadelphia. She recalls sculpting her first clay pot at the age of five. In her late teens, she was introduced to gardening and landscape design while working for a garden center in Florida. As her career emerged, having trained in ceramics, sculpture, design and photography at Florida State University and The Corcoran School of Art, Jan turned first to landscape design, fulfilling a desire to work within nature’s parameters. But, she never left her artistic endeavors behind, working with clay as time allowed.
In 2004, with the advent of her sculpture venture, she brought her creative career full circle. “Now that the sculpture is playing a larger role in my work,” notes Jan, “it’s clear that visualizing and designing gardens is informing my art. Likewise, my origins as an artist influence and enhance my garden designs. People come to me because they want the artistic viewpoint, because I create gardens as art, and art for the garden.”
Jan has lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for 35 years and in her current location since 1983. Situated on two acres of Edenesque property in Bozman, Maryland, Jan’s cedar-sided home – which also houses her landscape design office and sculpture studio – is in keeping with the natural landscape. Indoors, art and color captivate the eye even as windows beckon the viewer to take in the grounds. Outdoors, tranquil gardens invite visitors to wander slowly, perhaps pausing in the occasional chair or strolling onto the dock to take in views from the water. Punctuating the lush vegetation are Jan’s exuberant fruit and vegetable sculptures, at once luscious and heroic. Jan’s gardens are appropriate and compatibly designed in both traditional and contemporary styles. She features abundant native plant material with swaths of color for impact. Jan says, “I consider nature’s vitality to be a partner in the process. I enjoy working with texture, color, and design both in my gardens and with my sculpture. I like to think that the scope of my work is like waves in the ocean, rolling into and out of the same creative source, sometimes taking a particular shape, but ultimately blending back together again.”
Jan’s professional memberships include the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, The International Sculpture Center, the Washington Sculptors Group, Academy Art Musem and the Garden Writers’ Association. She is also active in the local community as a member of the Talbot Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland Farm Bureau and Temple B’Nai Israel, where she serves on the Building committee.