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Jann Greenland: What Might Be

February 6, 2018 – April 29, 2018

Organized by the Arkansas Arts Center

One of the things I love about teaching in the Museum School is that you can give a group of individuals the same materials and tools, and each of them will make something different. Your particular location in time and space, combined with your particular experiences, gives you a unique awareness. That’s the source of your superpowers.

I’ve always had my hands in something – clay, fabric, darkroom chemicals, keyboard and software. For the last two decades it’s been glass shards and metal, fire and acid. When I was a kid I remember an abundance of crayons and blank paper, but no coloring books. And I’m grateful for that. I don’t have formal art school training, but I’ve learned from a great many generous and talented people, both at the Arkansas Arts Center and places like Penland School of Crafts and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. And I learn from my students and colleagues all the time.

I often start with raw materials that aren’t exactly raw. They may be scavenged resources discarded by others, or discoveries put into other contexts. I like mixing things in ways that are not predictable. I often combine the ordinary with the precious, the found with the fabricated, the imaginary with the real.

The title of this show is “What Might Be.” I’m sharing my perspective on resources and possibilities. And I’m not encumbered by realities, other than the physical properties of the materials I’m working with. For instance, the individual pieces that make up the “foundlings” I’ve been squirreling away for years. I had the urge to put the objects in relationship to each other, and the assemblages became characters. In the end, the found objects are the focus, supported by fabricated sterling silver mounts blackened almost to invisibility.

From my spot on the planet, these things make sense: You can draw a picture with beads. Glass is as lovely as a gemstone. All the colors go together. Space travel is just like it feels in your dreams. Concrete can be jewelry. Things I find on the ground are precious. We each need a wardrobe of crowns. We are all artists until the world convinces us otherwise.

Jann Greenland

Jewelry & Small Metals Department Chair
Arkansas Arts Center Museum School


Featured Work from the Exhibition


Jann Greenland

Little Rocket Composite
Image courtesy of the artist

Jann Greenland

Foundling 8
Image courtesy of the artist

Jann Greenland

Corrugation Day
Image courtesy of the artist

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