“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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Jennifer Meanley

Jennifer Meanley


Born Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (1978)

Jennifer Meanley considers herself a storyteller; however what she really seeks to do is engage the viewer in the sensation of having a dream or recalling a memory from the distant past.  This overwhelms the conclusiveness or narrative quality of the events taking place in the paintings.  They become about remembering what it is like to feel the reactive, visceral and sensual side of being human.  Animals, because they are unencumbered of human rules of conduct and morality, are important actors within the paintings.  They illuminate aspects of human nature that have been willingly abandoned or reformed.   The people are allowed to be observers of the animals, but it is implicit that this is actually a type of self-reflection.  Native to the bucolic and dreamlike settings where they often take place is a type of shallow placidity and beauty.  This operates as a foil, to be perturbed by the raggedness, violence and grief of the creatures that occupy these spaces.  Jennifer enjoys thinking and painting about things that can be both beautiful and grotesque, stricken and joyful – reminders of subterranean things that, on the surface they appear one way, but once unearthed are like an ant colony, boiling with hidden intent and purpose, exposed only through dishevelment.

Jennifer Meanley graduated from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts in 2001 with a double major in English Literature and Fine Arts.  She studied fine arts at the University of New Hampshire and went on to Indiana University, Bloomington, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts degree. She has recently been appointed Professor of Painting and Drawing  at the University of North Carolina.

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