Blue Mercury

Jean Plough

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Year Participated: 2007

How did showing in the exhibition impact your career as an artist?

“Being in the Betsey Meyer Exhibition allowed me to meet Judy Herman, the Director at the time, who arranged other exhibition opportunities for me including in businesses on the Main Line. It gave me confidence to pursue my direction in art, and connected me with other similar creative people, including many of my colleagues. Seeing my work in the gallery context allowed me to visualize and progress further. It was a great opportunity for me, in that many people saw my work, and became familiar with it. I went on to show in the National Weather Biennial, the Shippensburg Invitational , the Hoyt Institute of Art, and American Landscapes.”

Artist Statement

This work combines elements of landscape and figure. It involves perceiving objects, shapes, or scenery as meaningful things that relate to a viewer’s experience. The starting inspiration of a painting can be a used palette, a hypnagogic image, a portion of a xerox copy, or a phrase. Figures can also be created in this way or included.

I paint because it creates a link with others, and connects me with feelings and felt sense. The process of painting is visual communication, and it provides an unexpected new perspective, a sense of place and kinesthetic sense.

Artist Biography

Born in New York, I always drew and painted. I studied painting at University of the Arts, and also at Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC. I traveled widely since my father was in the Army, and I enjoyed being in different places and meeting diverse people.

The feeling of a landscape remains embedded in my mind. As an adult, I still paint landscapes and sometimes figures; or figures that look like landscapes, or landscapes that look like figures. It was one of these that was part of an exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, “Insomnia, Landscapes of the Night”. When painting figures, I like the abstract qualities in their shapes, sometimes with the juxtaposition of words that suggest themselves. I often use a sense of humor in my paintings. I practice meditation and the abstract images often refer to the empty state of mind experienced during meditation.

I taught art for the School District of Philadelphia, and then online, where I was inspired by many of my students. Now I manage the Lieberman Gallery at Settlement Music School in Germantown, and I show work at Dirty Franks and Muse Gallery in Old City. I am a member of the Alumni Association of the University of the Arts and on the Outreach committee.