Jeremy Waak was raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. At an early age, he began to pursue creative endeavors, such as drawing and painting, which have remained integral activities for him. Being the child of a mechanic, Jeremy was heavily influenced by cars, engines, and all things mechanical. Jeremy attended the Memphis College of Art as an undergraduate and majored in metalsmithing. In Memphis, he began to explore the design and creation of mechanisms, which spawned the first in a series of hand-held devices called the “One Kernel Popcorn Popper.” These disarmingly funny objects have allowed him to explore his love of the mechanical while making social commentary about our relationship to gadgets, planned obsolescence, absurdity, and Americana.
Jeremy continued to hone this body of work as a graduate student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His work in graduate school culminated in a thesis show titled, “One Kernel Popcorn Popper” in 2001. In 2002, he won an award from a show called, “Innovative Tools for Personal Use” which was sponsored by the 3M corporation. That same year, he was also the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant. In recent years, Jeremy worked as an artist’s assistant and has been developing new work involving different types of materials, mechanisms, and subject matter.