Friday, May 1, 2020
The word golden conjures up images of history, luxury, and majesty. The oldest metal recorded as having been used by humans, gold is used around the world as currency, in jewelry, in medicine, and in Kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”), the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the broken areas with lacquer dusted or mixed with the metal.
In her exhibition Golden, artist Jess Barnett uses the color gold as a neutral, exploring its universality and mirroring the idea that gold is the most malleable of all metals. She also plays with the concept of gold as it is used colloquially in popular culture, such as in song titles (“Golden Years” by David Bowie and “Golden Hair” by Syd Barrett) and in commonly used American idioms (“as good as gold,” “golden age”). Jess Barnett uses a variety of media in her work, including spray paint, acrylic ink and paint, watercolors, gouache, colored pencils, and eyeshadow. In some form, the color gold is used in every piece in this exhibition.
Concord, NH, resident Jess Barnett is a self-taught artist and has been painting since 2004. She was, until February 2020, a member of and teaching artist at Artistic Roots, an artists’ coop in Plymouth, NH, and recently had a show titled Awakening hanging in Acton, MA. In addition, selected works are now hanging at HOME by Stamm & Black in Acton. She will be displaying works at 42 Maple Contemporary Art Center and other galleries throughout 2020. One of her pieces, O Saisons, O Chateaux, recently hung in the show MIXMASTER @ The Matt 2020 at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT.
She counts among her influences the Color Field movement, the region of New England, Japanese minimalist painters, Francis Bacon, Dale Chihuly, Stephen Gammell, Franz Kline, and Andrew Wyeth. In November 2019, Jess began teaching an art class for inmates at the Belknap County Jail in Laconia, NH.
A former member of the Fort Point Artists Community in Boston, Ms. Barnett has exhibited in a variety of locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including the Wellness at Villageworks building in Acton, MA; 6 Bridges Gallery; the Beacon Hill Art Walk; the SoWa Art Walk; Achilles; the FPAC Gallery Art at 12; the Lilypad in Inman Square; Cambridge Common; Bricco; the Harbor Art Gallery; and the Larkin Gallery. Ms. Barnett took lessons in glassblowing at Diablo Glass School in Roxbury, MA, and completed an encaustic wax workshop in Gloucester, MA, in October 2019. For five years she served as one of two arts editors for Printer’s Devil Review, an online literary and arts journal.