Jenny Mendes ’78


“I am thrilled, honored and grateful to be included in the Cleveland Heights High School Hall of Fame. I think about the amazing students before and after my time at CHHS and I feel humbled by their accomplishments which I honor equally with my personal induction into the Hall of Fame.”

“Let mistakes lead to invention.” ~ Helen Frankenthaler

Jenny is a professional clay and drawing artist who has inspired individuals and artists both nationally and internationally with her recognizable detailed and whimsical style, human and animal imagery, and layered painting technique. She is widely respected as an artist who is dedicated to her work and is committed to sharing her skills and techniques with students and other artists through extensive workshops and residencies across the country and globe—from Santa Fe, NM to Penland, NC and from France to Turkey. While Jenny’s artistic expression is based in clay and basic hand building techniques using minimal tools, the art she creates spans multiple mediums such as illustration, sculpture, drawing, painting, storytelling and jewelry. Through the intimate scale of her work, Jenny invites viewers to personally interact with it. All of her pieces are one of a kind—functional objects, sculptural animals, figure vessels, detailed illustration tiles—and reflect her experiences, influences, perception and perspectives. Jenny’s catalog of work, publications, solo and joint exhibitions and awards is remarkable for its depth and breadth locally, nationally and internationally. 


BFA, Washington University

Current Occupation

Studio Artist

  • Exhibited, taught workshops and sold my work all over the US and internationally
  • Have had the great creative pleasure of working with artists from all over the world
  • Share this achievement with my father and cousin who have also been inducted into the Hall of Fame
  • Recipient of Best of Show at the Cain Park Arts Festival as well as four Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship awards
  • Participated in ceramic residencies and symposiums at Penland School of Crafts (Penland, NC), and in Macedonia, Slovenia, Turkey, Serbia, Latvia, Philippines, France and the Netherlands
  • My two oldest friends (from Canterbury Elementary School) are still my best friends