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Join Jennifer Pazienza at her Virtual opening of Trouver Mon Chemin/ Finding My Way

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  • By Luke Randall
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Join Jennifer Pazienza at her Virtual opening of Trouver Mon Chemin/ Finding My Way

In 2020, one of the key ways to rebuild our communities is through partnership. During the lockdown Jennifer and I have had a number of conversations as to how her work is moving forward and how artists everywhere but especially those in New Brunswick, can move forward in spite of or, perhaps because of, Covid-19. In this time, Jennifer has continued to pioneer her web series #gottaminutenb which showcases a different NB artist each week but she knew if she was talking about changing the way we view art, her own show had to change too. We're excited to engage with Jennifer Pazienza live at her opening this Friday evening at 5:30PM. The work is in Moncton, Jennifer will be at her artist studio in Keswick Ridge and we're excited to know attendees will be from not just close to home in New Brunswick but from all over the world from California in the United States to Ontario. Join her on Zoom live or view the show at anytime. I've included all of the relevant links in the post. Congratulations Jennifer, we're excited for this new work.
- Luke Randall
Endeavours & ThinkPlay

Come celebrate the VIRTUAL opening (3d virtual gallery image below) of Trouver Mon Chemin/Finding My Way, 1994-2019, curated Paul Édouard Bourque via Zoom.

Actually on the walls of Galerie 12 in the Aberdeen Cultural Centre in Moncton, NB, but gathering virtually since we can’t have a face to face opening.

This Friday July 17 at 5:30-6:30 AST. Check your time zones. We're 1 hour later than NYC, 2 later than Chicago, 4 earlier than the UK and so on! BYOB!

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86274630058?pwd=UnQ2L3ZURW80czVmRk5QNUpUSWhnQT09
Meeting ID: 862 7463 0058
Password: art

Visit Jennifer Pazienza's website,  www.jenniferpazienza

 

We've taken the liberty of using the artist's bio from her webpage below to share with you here. I take responsibility for any formatting errors, as the formatting did change when I copied the text from the website. -Luke

 

The daughter and granddaughter of Italian immigrants I was born in Newark, New Jersey. My folks died when I was a young, eight and nine years old. That made education after high school a bit uncertain, but I did win a Mercury Monterey in a church raffle in February of my senior year and decided I could at least apply to one school. I thought that if I got in it would be a sign from God that I would somehow afford it! And so I did. I enrolled in William Patterson College of New Jersey, now William Patterson University, in the early 70s during the gas crisis that saw us lining up at the pumps on odd and even days according to our license plate number. After chauffeuring as many of my friends to and from school as possible that last semester, upon graduation I traded the Merc on a Volkswagen Bug and drove myself to college and work where I took a double major, a Bachelor of Education in Art and Waitressing! 

 

Within my undergraduate art education studies, painting instructor Dr. David Raymond was instrumental to my development as an artist generally and as a painter. He was sensitive to my way of drawing and encouraged my own visual voice. He valued painting from life and copying. Hard-edged tonal paintings were all the rage, however, and we spent what seemed like countless hours premixing colour based on a gray scale before we put a brush to canvas. Hard-edged tonal painting was, like the clothing fashion of the time, an Armani approach to painting. I did well and it did contribute to my understanding of colour theory, but it really wasn’t for me. Still searching for my painterly voice it was Richard Mayhew, during graduate school at Penn State University that unleashed my Versace soul. But I’m getting ahead of myself. 

 

After several years of teaching elementary art to 1000 elementary school kids a week, visiting 5 buildings in 7 days, (I was the art on a cart lady) I returned to school and waitressing and completed a Master’s and PhD in Art Education at The Pennsylvania State University. In those years, 1982–1987 the Penn State football team was twice national champs, and the Boalsburg Steakhouse was as popular as PSU football. Home game festivities began on Friday evenings and continued, win or lose, through Sunday brunch. My hips are a gentle reminder that the education I received at Penn State was worth the miles of steak dinners I hauled. Oh, to have had a Fitbit then! Among the professors and friends who supported me in those years were, artist/educators Dr. Brent Wilson, Dr. Patricia Amburgy and Richard Mayhew. While Drs. Wilson and Amburgy believed in, supported and assisted me in finding my place within the art education landscape and the world of academia, it was artist and painting professor Richard Mayhew who had the greatest effect on my painting practice. Mayhew began his painting career at the tale end of the Harlem Renaissance. He reinterprets abstract expressionism through the jazz lens of improvisation. (http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Art-of-Richard-Mayhew-at- MoAD-3283546. php) He is a glorious painter, a teacher to be emulated and just a decent human being. With his warm, soft smile and intense gaze, he delicately suggested that I remove Payne’s Gray from my paint kit and instead try a limited palette, where tone is achieved through the mixing of primary colours. Some yellows, some reds, some blues and titanium white. That was 1984 and I’ve been working that way ever since. Richard Mayhew saw something in my work, a regard for colour, but also a struggle with colour, created by a clinically tonal approach. He was absolutely right. Most importantly however, he was the first person who spoke to the spiritual in my work—the first person to give me the confidence that there is great personal, aesthetic and social value in painting a tree. 

 

In 1987 I took my first professorship at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, home of Buddy Holly and the Crickets! I arrived with a common grad school condition, ABD (all but dissertation) that meant in order to keep my tenure track job I had to finish my doctoral thesis. It also meant that I would write from about 4:30–7:30am before classes, and then teach until 5:30pm. Thanks to my late colleague, sculptor and glass artist Bill Bagley, at the end of the day, under his tutelage I would blow off steam learning to blow glass. My year in Texas was challenging for many reasons. I was a long way from home emotionally, geographically and academically. Although I so enjoyed working with my Fine Arts colleagues, I still hadn’t found my art education home. So when the invitation to apply to the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee came along I jumped at it. If memory serves me right, there were 89 applicants. I was shortlisted, I interviewed before full faculty, around 60 people and got the job. Little did I know it would be a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire, or said another way, that my experience in Wisconsin was as cold as my time in Lubbock was hot! That February, adding insult to injury, I received a letter from Penn State demanding that I owed them $3000 in order to receive my diploma, the diploma I needed to keep my job. I was waitress-free for nearly two years when the next morning, on my way to the university, I spied Jack Pandl’s Inn (http:// www.jackpandls.com/). That evening, crying and kicking back scotch I completed the application, interviewed the next day and got the job. In April just after returning from the National Art Education Conference in Washington DC another letter from Penn State arrived, marked urgent. 

 

“Dear Ms. Pazienza, please accept out sincere apologies”...The sum I owed was actually $300! That cleared up, I said goodbye to the dear folks at Jack Pandl’s and went shopping to buy interview clothes for an art education position at the University of New Brunswick. 

 

A wintry gray late April day greeted me when I touched down in Fredericton, New Brunswick in eastern Canada. Once inside the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick however, that initial chill I was immediately replaced with a warm and encouraging welcome. I interviewed on both my theoretical work teaching art history to children and my creative work. After my presentation, during a lively question and answer period, someone said, “You were at Texas Tech for a year and the University of Wisconsin for a year, both tenure track positions.” Then he asked the question I hadn’t considered, but oddly enough was grateful for. “Are you planning on staying here for just a year too?” He was right of course, who in their right mind would leave one, let alone two tenure track jobs inside of two years? With out missing a beat I looked him in the eye, smiled and broke all interview protocol and said,  

 

What I just presented to you today is very similar to what got me hired in Texas and Wisconsin. But in both cases I was systematically prevented from acting upon these ideas. So, if you like what I shared with you today, hire me. If you don’t, then please, don’t! It’s April. Come September these are the kinds of things I will be developing and including in my art education classes. 

 

They offered me the job before I left the building. Finally I found my art education home, a university with a promise of academic freedom and one that recognizes creative work as a scholarly endeavor. That made it possible for me to continue to develop my artistic practice as legitimate academic work. Early in my first semester, the Dean at the time, Dr. Gerry Clarke, one of the principal architects of the initial clause that situated creative inquiry within the category of research stopped by my classroom and asked when I would be taking up my painting practice again. I married him in 1998! 

 

At UNB I contributed to teaching and learning in undergraduate and graduate programs in art and general education within the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Arts Bachelor of Applied Arts and Multimedia Studies programs and Renaissance College, UNB’s BPhil in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies. It was during my time at Renaissance College that we received the Blizzard Award for excellence in interdisciplinary teaching. I have presented papers and conducted workshops at local, national and international art education conferences, published articles in books and journals on teaching art history and written essays for artist’s catalogues. 

 

Throughout my career I have been a member of state, provincial, national and international arts committees and juries in the US and Canada. I have served as an art education curriculum consultant for the Getty Centre for Arts in Education and for the Department of Education for the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan. In addition to New Brunswick I have exhibited my artwork in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Maine, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, and London, Ontario. 

 

I’m fortunate to have paintings in corporate and private collections including New Brunswick, Toronto, Maine, Nova Scotia and Italy. In addition to exhibitions, paintings Summer, 2006 and Winter, 2007 are included in the book, Canadian Art/Works: A Resource for Primary, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Teachers, and Giallo and Early Spring appear on the covers of two issues of The Leadership Compendium used in Canadian and US educational leadership programs. Career highlights include my time as artist/educator in residence for the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick’s provincial gallery, where with visitors from across the street and across Canada, Trinidad, Nepal, the Netherlands and Japan I shared my love of painting. Having completed two commissions for Azienda Agricola Alcala in Sicily; a large ceramic tile installation made with local artisans and a mural celebrating agriculture and the ceramic tradition of majolica tile painting are also high on the list. Delivering the keynote address Beautiful Dreamer, an arts based essay on the relationship between landscape, beauty and justice understood through my paintings for GRAE, a graduate art education conference hosted by my alma mater, Penn State with attendees from Ohio State and Syracuse Universities and Teachers College Columbia came in my final year at UNB and was an experience I am very grateful to have had. In September of 2015 I had the great, good fortune to present Beautiful Dreamer: Landscape and Memory at the closing plenary session of Art & Psyche: Layers and Liminality, an international conference on all things Jungian in Sicily! E’ davvero un sogno divenuto realtà! 

 

My work has been represented by various galleries in the provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario and in Massachusetts and New York. 

 

For an in depth interview, please take a look at The Artful Mind: 

http://issuu.com/ theartfulmindartzine/docs/tam_nov_issuu_2014/1 

 

I retired from UNB July 1, 2014. While my waitressing skills and love of food serve, family, friends and charitable organizations, after 55 years I have the opportunity to be a full time artist!! I am blessed. Life is good. Life is very good 

 

 

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