Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Defining Selectivity: Momentum Artist Jenna Bryan

This post is part of our series on Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition's Momentum OKC 2014. Momentum exhibits Oklahoma artists ages 30 and younger in a venue created specifically for them, helping them gain experience and meet new audiences. Today we are featuring Momentum artist Jenna Bryan from Norman, OK.

Laura Reese: What is your concept and inspiration for this piece in Momentum?
Jenna Bryan: My work, "High Brow Low Brow" is probably one of my most straight forward pieces in terms of concept. As a recent college graduate in fine arts and a manager for a commercial print shop, I am constantly hopping between "low" and "high" art. It has been very interesting to see how others define art and what qualifies something as good art. For me, there is no specific answer or formula for good art and have difficulty trying to define it. In the same way, I have difficulty limiting my art to any certain standard or genre. I find it extremely entertaining what makes something more important than something else. This piece sort of trivializes the whole idea of high brow and low brow art by using playful imagery of eyebrows and mixing them interchangeably.

Jenna Bryan, Norman, “High Brow Low Brow”, Woodblock Print, 24x18, $80
LR: Please explain the technique and/or process you used to create this work.
JB: Primarily my work involves some form of printmaking. I gravitate more towards printmaking because it allows me to create multiples of my image so that I am able to reach more people with my work and offer more affordable prices. For this print, I chose to do a woodcut in which I played with positive and negative space. On a piece of MDF, I cut the line work and text into the block to make the Low Brow image. For the High Brow image, I cut around the brow and text. The block was then printed on a press with relief ink.

LR: Is this work part of a series?
JB: This work is a solo piece although, it is strongly connected to a previous work, "The Poop Block Series," in both appearance and concept. Both works share existentialistic themes that cause the viewer to question the significances of anything and everything. However, I think there is a light-heartedness that leaves a more optimistic after taste. There is somehow comfort and great responsibility in knowing that we are the ones who give things importance.

LR: Where else can the audience see your work? 

Momentum OKC opens March 7 & 8 with live music, performance, and visual art by 101 young Oklahomans. The exhibition remains on display until March 10 at the Farmer's Public Market OKC, 311 S Klein. Learn more or buy tickets at www.MomentumOklahoma.org

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