Quite a few years ago, the Bemis Underground hosted a regional juried exhibition. This is where we were introduced to Oskaloosa, IA, artist Jane Ryder. She submitted images of multiple gouache paintings, each work pregnant with psychedelic ecological and environmental positions. A moment to share her vision and talent with our community was promised and finally, it is here. Jane has taken this opportunity and shared her time at Project Project with Des Moines, IA artist Rob Stephens. Please join us in welcoming Jane and Rob to Omaha.
As always, Project Project openings are free and open to the public.
I landed a job as a screen printer and moved to Iowa in 2009. I didn’t have a network of artists or family in the state but graduate school taught me well and I continued to pursue my artistic endeavors. I struggled but made work. I kept up with my website. I exhibited. I helped open an art center. I used my day job as a screen printer to continue my fine art life as a printmaker. I wrote dull artist statements about my paintings and their formal attributes. The Internet allowed me to pursue opportunities and meet curators like Joel Damon who invited show with Project Project.
I also started going to art shows in Des Moines. A neat person named Mia introduced me to Rob at his Moberg Gallery opening. Rob’s paintings were vibrant and personal; He was fun to talk to about his work. I had an art crush on Rob that only grew when I read his zines. Rob’s ability to emote inspired me to be more open with myself about why I make art. I really wanted to ask him to show with me at Project Project.
The exhibition Show with me? Circle: Yes, No, Maybe is a two human painting show. It’s a playful reminder that asking fellow artists to show with you is kind of like asking them out and I think that’s kind of funny. I’m glad Rob Stephens said he’d show with me and I’m glad that Project Project gave me the opportunity to show with someone I admire.
Thank you, dear audience, for taking the time to look at our work.
My paintings are a right-brained approach to observing, dissecting, and recording the objective subject matter found in the lakes, rivers, prairies, and forests of south central Iowa. As my intimacy with the land surrounding me evolves so do my approaches for depicting the complexities of varying terrains and the plants and animals that occupy them.
Each of my gouache paintings is a fictitious ecosystem that has been broken down into a series of vignettes. Each vignette describes the decay, growth, and interaction between the flora and fauna of that imagined place. Although bold colors, repeating patterns, and flattened space make the paintings appear fantastic in nature, each scene is based off an observation.
I am constantly inspired by the complexities of the natural world. My work is an ever evolving narrative about the interconnectedness of all things and the functions of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
I gouge images out of wood that are both playful and cruddy, all in an effort to humiliate myself. My work- my comics, my paintings, my prints - are like hasty hand written love notes passed to you during a sterile algebra class under the watchful glare of prying teachers. They are fragile, funny, intense and trusting. They trust you. Thanks for not narcing me out to the man. I think human frailty is where beauty is. I think everyone (and everyone's story) has right to be visible.
Show with me? Circle: Yes, No, Maybe is organized by Joel Damon and Josh Powell
Friday, April 8: 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.
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