Dr. Jess Ziegenfuss is an art historian and visual studies scholar teaching and working in New Mexico. Her research explores the material and cultural life of objects, sites, and structures on the borders of art history, such as outsider art, craft practices, art and synthetics, and land use. She also teaches studio classes in functional ceramics.
She is currently working with the Miniatures Collection in Roswell, New Mexico on a hybrid online and in-person exhibition of artworks produced by the Los Pocos Locos Miniature Club, active during the 1980s through the 1990s. This is part of a larger scholarly project examining artistic responses to the history of land use and disuse within the Southwest by local vernacular material practices.
She holds a Ph.D. in Visual Studies from the University of California, Irvine and a M.A. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from The Ohio State University. Her dissertation project at UCI examined the material and cultural history of industrial collage, latex, and polymer plastics in the sculptural works of German-American artist Eva Hesse from 1964-1969.