Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Painting the Neighborhood (and a Song) with Jennifer Levine

Posted on January 16, 2013 by Brandon Monokian

Art by Jennifer Levine
Opening this Thursday, January 17 at the Firehouse Gallery is new exhibition Jennifer Levine: Painting the Neighborhood. I got a chance to chat for a bit with the artist herself, the wonderfully talented and sweet as can be Jennifer Levine in her home studio. 

Levine is a woman of many talents; a performer, musician, and puppeteer to name a few, so it’s no surprise that when she creates visual art she explores different textures and materials in a style called “mixed media.” Her mixed media technique finds her using a combination of acrylic paints, oil sticks, and collage eliminates such as newspaper and xerox photos. “I use a lot of stamps and different glazes to get different textures which makes it more collage like,” says Levine of her process. “I think from the very beginning i liked the aesthetic of collage.” She went on to say “I didn’t have any formal painting training so it just seemed natural to use what was around. I like the aesthetic.” That aesthetic has helped to create her signature artistic look, presenting people and places in a vibrant and whimsical way.

Paintings are not the only thing you will see at Thursday’s opening of Jennifer Levine: Painting the Neighborhood. A short 15 minute film Painting a Song she made with musician and artist Scott Massarsky will also be presented. Painting a Song captures the creative and collaborative process of Levine and Massarsky, as he plays music which inspires her painting. “I was listening to his cd’s a lot,” said Levine of her painting process, when one day she decided to ask him “Why don’t you just come over and play while I paint?” The end results of which you can see by watching Painting a Song below... just a fair warning, prepare to be amazed! 

Click here for to watch Painting a Song
Life will not be slowing down anytime soon for Levine. After her show at the Firehouse Gallery (which will run through February 24), Massarsky and Levine will team up again for a show at The Art Garage in Montclair featuring art inspired by Massarsky’s musical reaction to two films about the Holocaust. After The Art Garage, Levine’s work will provide the visual landscape for a new book about a transgender child. It will be an educational piece used in the New York City school system to educate about gender identity.

To keep up with busy and talented Jennifer Levine and her projects, please visit Jennifer Levine: Painting the Neighborhood  opens January 17, 6-9PM (free admission) and runs through  February 24 on Saturdays 10am-4pm, Sundays 12:30-4pm; or by appointment. The Firehouse Gallery is located at 580 Forest Street, Orange NJ 07050
Jennifer Levine's studio

Brandon Monokian is currently featured in the Page to Stage documentary produced by the Princeton Public Library as well as their TEDx series as a guest speaker. Up next his play Grimm Women which recently played Off-Off-Broadway will be playing in Philadelphia. For more info: or twitter @brandonmonokian


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