Finding Purpose Through the Darkness | Podcast Episode with Jenny Brown

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On this episode of Art & Cocktails, Kat talks to collage artist Jenny Brown about her journey and how she discovered her artistic voice, overcame adversity, let go of the shame surrounding her dreams and gained clarity in her art career. 

This episode includes conversations about:

  • Discovering your creative calling

  • Student loan debt and financial struggle

  • Overcoming depression and more

Jenny Brown is a 1996 graduate of Bennington College and she received her MFA in 2005 from The School of Visual Arts, where she focused on the mediums of painting, drawing, and collage. She moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 2008, and in 2018 set up space at Lyra Art Studios in the city’s Olneyville neighborhood. Her most recent solo show, “When You Speak to Me, This is What I See,” was curated by Periphery Space and presented at Paper Nautilus in Providence, RI, featuring a studio-like installation of her collages and drawings.

Artist Statement

Over the past decade, I have become captivated with exploring ideas surrounding the existence of a parallel or “alt” universe, and finding a way to represent it visually. What if we opened everyday doors and instead of seeing what we expected to see, we saw how we existed in the same moment but in another place in time? What if that alternative world wasn’t frightening, but instead place where color, nature, and our souls made sense in their own unique and curious way?

As an artist who sees the process of creating art as non-linear, I find that I experience the past, present, and future lives of my work all simultaneously. These periods of time happen all at once, maybe not at all, and sometimes infinitely with no end in sight. I find everyday curiousness, the physical mementos (such as photographs & paper ephemera I use in my work), and the history and images from past travels to be present every time I bring pen to paper. For when one speaks to me about my work and my creative process, I wish they could see it all-the beginnings, the unknowns, the forgotten, the lost, the joyous, and the never-ending beauty of the story that brought me to this exact place and time.

I am a 1996 graduate of Bennington College and received my MFA in 2005 from The School of Visual Arts, where I focused on the study of painting, drawing, and collage. I moved to Rhode Island, in 2008 and currently work out of a studio in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood. I have collaborated with retail brands such as Anthropolgie and Alex & Ani, worked in a variety of art education settings both as a teacher and a mentor, and have over a decade of experience in event planning and facilities management in the corporate sector.

Learn more at www.jennybrownart.com