Friday, May 1, 2020
Concord, NH, resident Jess Barnett is a self-taught artist and has been painting since 2004. She is currently a visiting artist at Artistic Roots, an artists’ coop in Plymouth, NH, and her most recent solo exhibition, titled “Awakenings,” hung at Wellness at Villageworks in Acton, MA, from June through October 2019.
A former member of the Fort Point Artists Community in Boston, Barnett has exhibited in a variety of locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including 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 was enrolled in 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. In addition to her work as an artist, Barnett currently serves as a program assistant at the New Hampshire Public Health Association in Concord, NH, and as a freelance copyeditor for various companies.
“The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.” ~ Carl Jung
The paintings in this show symbolize Barnett’s “rebirth” after a personal tragedy in 2017, the sudden death of her mother, and the unintended consequences that followed that event. Through her art, Barnett said she has been able to transform her sorrow into something positive, a definitive shift in her work from the more somber to a more hopeful, curious attitude about what life has in store for her. Recurrent themes in recent pieces include longing, distance within relationships, loss, and remembrance. Barnett said she often uses painted or drawn words within paintings to emphasize these themes. In her latest pieces,she has incorporated hand stitching with colored thread to further emphasize rebirth and redemption. Other media include gouache, watercolor, pastels, eyeshadow and other cosmetics, colored pencils, spray paint, acrylic paint, and acrylic ink.