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Traditionally, art refers to skill or mastery that stimulates thought and emotion; encompassing a diverse range of human expression. We define artists as engaging in a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing art or demonstrating an art. Through labor and skill, art is the product of arranging symbolic elements in a way that evokes emotion, affects the senses and motivates intellect.
Austin artists continue this tradition through various mediums and disciplines with a hip and modern twist that speaks to our past and present at “Art Buzz Austin.” The exciting event will showcase a collection of Austin’s emerging artists; reviving interest in art as well as drawing an audience with generations of art lovers. The artists will be displaying work in a variety of media, from pop cardboard cut-outs, to playful abstracts in oil, to contemporary mixed media paintings, to whimsical stainless steel sculptures.
One rising star to watch among Austin artists (showing at “Art Buzz Austin”) is the brilliance of Jenny Meyer. The artistic talent and skill of artist Jenny Meyer surpasses any simple definition of art as she shares passion, expression, and life experience that takes the viewer on an endless journey through mediums of paint brush and canvas. Jenny takes a moment from her work to speak with us…
Where are you from?
Jenny: Austin, Texas.
Do you come from a big family?
Jenny: I come from a family of five. I have an older sister and a younger brother. I have a pretty large extended family, whom I am close with. I am extremely close to my immediate family as well. They are my biggest supporters.
Where did you live before Austin?
Jenny: I was born in Waco, Texas and moved to Austin when I was 12 years old. I moved away to New York City and Chicago to attend college, and then moved back to Austin when I graduated.
Have you always been involved in the art industry?
Jenny: I’ve always been a creative person. I think artists are just born that way. When I was little, I was constantly making things. It wasn’t until my late teens when I started thinking about college, and what I would major in. It was then that I began to think about finding a hands-on career I could utilize my skills with.
What influenced you to switch from fashion to the art industry?
Jenny: When I was at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I was studying Accessories Design. I was designing and constructing handbags and footwear, which was an amazing experience. From the beginning, however, I quickly picked up on how much I loved sketching my designs — more so than the execution of them. We had a set schedule in the program, and one of our required courses was a 2D class, which included drawing and painting. It was my favorite class in the whole program. I had already been accepted into SAIC and their criteria seemed to fit perfectly with what I was looking for, so I took a chance and made the leap.
When were you first bitten by the art bug?
Jenny: It wasn’t until I was at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago that I dove into art full force. When I first arrived there, I knew I liked to draw and that was about it. I didn’t know many artists and hadn’t really been exposed to the art world. I started out in a lot of drawing classes and experimented in other mediums as well. One summer, I took a painting class, and haven’t looked back since. The Art Institute of Chicago museum was connected to the school; walking through the museum on a regular basis and learning about important historical artists was inspiring for me and helped me to learn a lot about my own work.
Did you receive training for your talent?
Jenny: Yes, I have a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing. I feel really lucky to have had an education from such a respected art school.
Being a full-time professional artist can be challenging, when did you know you could do it?
Jenny: Getting started as an artist can be very challenging. It’s not your typical nine to five job where you know where you’re going everyday and have a set salary. I consider myself more of an entrepreneur. You’re in charge of your own destiny, which has been a motivating factor for me. I’m a pretty driven person and when I have something in my mind, I don’t let up until I see it come to pass. I’m so passionate about painting, that I’m determined to make it work out.
Why do you feel art is important to the Austin scene?
Jenny: Austin is a very artsy city. It has a great vibe and a lot of creative people. I think it’s important to feed that energy and keep that spirit alive. There is also a lot of live music here, and art and music can typically go hand in hand. I think it’s important to keep any art scene alive and growing. I like the idea of people who know nothing about art to be able to enjoy it just as much serious art connoisseurs. Art should be something everyone can enjoy, and Austin is the perfect city to do it in. Austin is big on supporting local talent; I feel like it’s a great place for any local artist to start.
What key points make your work unique and different?
Jenny: I believe my work is pretty innovative. I’m constantly using imagery from the past or present and thinking about how I can make it futuristic. I like to make every painting look different, but still have the same ‘pop’ style I’m looking to achieve. My color palettes and compositions are not something you see very often, which makes it so unique. (I’m definitely not afraid to use neon colors!) My work is very bright and playful. I’m trying to bring a lot of color to Austin.
How are you inspired to create a new piece?
Jenny: The majority of my imagery stems from animation and illustration. For instance, I’ll watch a Disney animation and pause the screen at least 200 times to sketch different occurrences in each scene. I also make collages by cutting out images from children’s picture books or using photographs I have taken of vinyl toys. I like to surround myself with pop culture, because I’m really inspired by it all and it helps me submerse myself in my work. That way, there’s never a moment that you’re not inspired.
Who are your mentors?
Jenny: My teachers at SAIC had a huge impact on the way I think. I feel like I approach everything so differently now. My parents have had a big influence on my life as well. My grandfather was a great mentor to me growing up and his legacy still is.
What has the world of art and being an artist taught you?
Jenny: I’ve learned that you shouldn’t judge a piece of art by it’s first glance. I used to look at a piece of work and immediately decide if I liked it or not. Now, I think it’s important to take your time with a piece of art. Looking at art isn’t a race. It’s about studying each piece and breaking it down into parts. There’s so much to think about when you look at art and questions to ask yourself, like what the artist meant, where it came from, what it means to you, or how it makes you feel. It’s good to slow down and take your time to think about a piece of work in order to find a way to connect with it. Art should provoke your emotions in some form or another.
How may the public learn more about you (website…etc.)?
Facebook: I just launched my Facebook Fan Page! “Jenny Meyer Art.”
Studio Location: Austin, Texas
Contrary to popular belief, wonderful art does not have to be expensive. At “Art Buzz Austin”, Jenny Meyer and many other talented artists’ selections are affordable; prices start at $200 and are reasonably priced to encourage art lovers to collect these beautiful pieces from hard-working and talented Austin artists. A portion of all sales from the artist reception benefit Missionaries to Mexico, a non-profit organization seeking to bring relief to impoverished families and children across the border.
This is an event you don’t want to miss: Monday, September 13th – Saturday September 18th. Artist Reception: Friday September 17, 6:30-9pm. Please RSVP 512-481-1111.