Jesse Harrod explores embodiment, gender, and sexual identity through, sculpture, installation, video, and drawing. Harrod builds on herstories of 1970s feminist art to offer queer imaginations of the body, from the abject and the grotesque to the humorous. Their practice most centrally contributes to a broader collective effort to redefine the meaning of queer aesthetic form. Harrod is perhaps most renowned for embracing the material vernacular of macramé using synthetic fibers like paracord, a utility cord devised by the military in the making of parachutes now used for a range of purposes and available in a variety of colors. In 2021, Harrod was commissioned by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, to make a large sculpture in response to the Kohler’s vast holdings of Wisconsin self-taught artist, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, an artist they first discovered while creating an exhibition at Fleisher/Ollman.
Jesse Harrod’s solo exhibitions include Hatch, Bowtie Projects, Los Angeles, CA; Mother Mascots, Drake Hotel, Toronto, Canada; Flaggin’ 1,2,3, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York; Rope, Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea; Low Ropes Course, NurtureArt, Brooklyn, NY; and Toxic Shock and Hotdog, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA among others. In 2019, Fleisher/Ollman presented Mending and Repair in Response, a two person exhibition featuring Harrod and Lisi Raskin. Harrod has been featured in group exhibitions such as In Practice: Material Deviance, SculptureCenter, NY; the traveling exhibition Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, organized by Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York, NY; Even Thread Has a Speech, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI; and String Along at Antenna Gallery, New Orleans, LA. In 2021, Harrod was commissioned by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center to create a work responding to the Eugene Von Bruenchenhein collection in the center's Art Preserve. In 2020, they received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts as well as a Temple University Faculty Award for Creative Achievement. Harrod has been awarded residencies at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center's Art/Industry program; Fire Island Artist Residency; the Open Studio Residency at Haystack Mountain School of Craft; the Icelandic Textile Center; the Vermont Studio Center; Ox-Bow Artist’s Residency; RAIR, Philadelphia; Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; and Museum of Art and Design, among others. Harrod has an MFA from the Department of Fiber & Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. They are currently the Head of Fibers & Material Studies at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia.