Jack Wax was raised in the Hudson River Valley region of New York State. He is a second generation American (His father sold furniture and his mother sold sheets). After a semi-standard white middle class suburban 1960s childhood he struck off on his own. The journey began with his fist attending the experimental progressive institution- Goddard College in up-state Vermont. His initial impulse while there was to develop and explore a self directed inquiry into Art History; that focused primarily on the grey areas between what was traditionally considered primitive (pre-cultural) and early cultural Art and artifacts. This examination led to a lifelong concern with what he calls “The Resonant Object”. It also marked the major shifting of his focus from studying the works of others, to the making of the work himself. He transferred from Goddard College to Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, where after three more years of matriculation he graduated with his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 1978. After an interim time successfully running a business in Berkeley California he returned to the East Coast and attended Rhode Island School of Design. He graduated with honors from RISD in 1983 with his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture.
Since 1983 Mr. Wax has taught at a number of Institutions of higher learning including: Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, The University of the Arts, Ohio State University, The Cleveland Institute of Art, Illinois State University, and Rhode Island School of Design. From 1991 through 1996 he taught at the Toyama Institute, in Toyama Japan, and at present he is a full professor at The Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts in Richmond Virginia.
He is a two time recipient of Individual Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, was nominated three times for a Tiffany Foundation Grant, was a recipient of an Illinois State Council of the Arts Grant, and he has done residencies in Istanbul Turkey at Cam Ocagi, at The Corning Museum in Corning NY, and on the Island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.
A partial list of where his work can be found would include the collection of The Smithsonian Institute, The LA County Museum, Toyama City Japan, Ibaraki City Japan, Cam Ocagi Istanbul Turkey, the Phillip Morris Collection, the Markel collection, and the Tittot Museum in Taipei.