Loud Colors

the art of cory jaeger-kenat

Archives: Work from 2001-2006, Painfully Honest Art reaching Abroad and at Home

"Major changes blew in with the coming of the new millenium. In 2001, I was invited to debut my first solo show at Toucan Gallery in Billings, Montana. Entitled 'Pressed Beneath a Heavy Sky', this exhibition rocked my world. All the work was sold, there were tears, hugs, and emotional stories from viewers, national funding from the Barbara Deming Fund Memorial, and a great deal of media and gallery exposure. The works were extremely vulnerable memories of my lonely girlhood summers with extended family on barren North Dakota farms. Free-lance teaching, lectures, shipping work to three galleries in the state, as well as sending out portfolios to national venues, filled my days to the brim and convinced me that yes, indeed, I was a working artist.

It was also around that time that some lovely individual, who insisted on being anonymous, provided me with a number of gift certificates for art supplies. The gift certificates were for significant amounts of money and simply signed 'An angel'. I was tremendously moved by this generosity, not only because it was so obviously helpful, but because, after seventeen years as a single mom, well-accustomed to having 'to do it all' whether I wanted to or not, I had forgotten how it felt to have someone look out for me. Overwhelmed and overjoyed, I told the story to everyone I encountered, thanking them profusely in the hopes that I would see a fleeting emotion across a face which would reveal my benefactor. This act of generosity was enormous, not only in showing support and helping me out financially, but it also changed the direction of my work. The timing was surely a 'God thing', because this funding came right when I was looking for a new medium to explore. I bought a few tubes of acrylic paints and some canvas, and dipping that brush in that pool of color seemed to open up something new in me; the first stroke felt like learning how to fly.

Working with the freshness of the paint was leading to fresh ideas. I started to wake up in the mornings with elusive glimpses of another series. I had recently seen the work of famous portrait artist Alice Neel, and was impressed by how well she managed to catch the essence of her subjects by emphasizing expression over physical features, to capture a personality more than just a face. It seemed like she didn't just paint the person she saw; she also painted how she felt about the person she saw. And that was what I wanted to do, in my own way. Suddenly, I was starting to see artworks done from this perspective, depicting the men who had shaped my life. I wanted to create my auto-biography, so to speak, through all of my love affairs, from my first crush in sixth grade to my last fiance.

I must have struck a nerve. These works were very well-received, in fact, so much so that a handful of works were exhibited before the series was completed. The work was considered 'controversial', and at one point the museum venue was considering an age requirement for viewing. Two major articles were written about the work, and the series was a highlighted exhibition in the local paper. Shortly after this, I had a 10 year retrospective show at Artspace, where most of the older works were sold.

In 2004, after many failed 'runaway bride' attempts, I finally met the one and only man who could get me to stick around. We married, packed up a moving truck, and moved to Pennsylvania for greater career opportunities and to be near extended family. The photo at left shows me at the 'front door' of the creaking Victorian mansion in which we lived. The huge house had been carved into apartments, and we lived on the uppermost floor, in the former servants quarters. There was no real heat in the place and we kept most of our belongings packed, but the views from our windows were of mammoth trees and a town spilling down the hills that looked exactly like a Grandma Moses painting."
--Cory Jaeger-Kenat

One of the primary regrets I have from my days when I was represented by commercial galleries is that I rarely got an opportunity to meet my patrons. If you own a Jaeger artwork and would like to send pictures or add your name as a collector, I would greatly appreciate it and I would love to meet you! I may be contacted at loudcolors@ymail.com.

All work is copyrighted under Cory Jaeger-Kenat. Any use, without permission from the artist, is strictly prohibited.

Web creation and design: Cory Jaeger-Kenat
Background vector created by Frimufilms - Freepik.com

Selected Exhibitions

Solo Shows
miscellaneous, Ft. Peck Summer Theatre, Glasgow, MT.
pressed beneath a heavy sky, Toucan Gallery, Billings, MT.

Juried Group Shows
disclosing October, Exit Gallery, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.
29th annual art auction, Art Museum of Missoula, Missoula, MT.
artists' miniatures, Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA.
the figure, Sutton West Gallery, Missoula, MT.
Selected Exhibitions

Solo Shows
untitled exhibition, Eleven-11, Billings, MT.

Juried Group Shows
small works auction, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT.
color dance, Kalispell Regional Medical Center, Kalispell, MT.
art and politics, Sutton West Gallery, Missoula, MT.
yellowstone art museum associates' auction, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
artists' miniatures, Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA.
Selected Exhibitions

Solo Shows
men, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
invisible, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Juried Group Shows
expanded horizons, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
24th annual juried exhibit , Custer County Art Center, Miles City, MT
holiday arts festival, Richmond Arts Center, Richmond, CA
3rd Annual Wild West, Nicholaysen Art Museum, Casper, WY
Selected Exhibitions

Solo Shows
private rooms, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.
nine wishes, ongoing website project at www.italics.us (receiving national attention)

Juried Group Shows
swing dance and silent auction, Rocky Mountain Center for the Musical Arts, Lafayette, CO.
bordeau & doisneau, Colorado Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO.
holiday arts festival, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA.
exhibition, Idaho Falls Center for the Arts, Idaho Falls, ID. (with artist Lissa Herschlab).
life works, Sutton West Gallery, Missoula, MT.
biennial art auction, Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, GA.
expanded horizons, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT.
Selected Exhibitions, 2005

juried group shows
regional showcase, Bottleworks Art Center, Johnstown, PA.
the artful word, The Zonta Club, Venture Theatre, Billings, MT.
ten things learned in ten years, Artspace, Billings, MT.
(Solo retrospective on a decade of art-making, as well as a silent, sold-out art auction.)
Selected Exhibitions

Invitational Group Shows
world family, Kalispell Regional Medical Center, Kalispell, MT.
tasting glamour, Michael's Cafe, Altoona, PA.
dedication of 'Hastings Library' painting, Miner's Medical Center, Hastings, PA.
solo display, Cambria County Library, Johnstown, PA.
storefront display, Spinelli's @Central Park, sponsored by the Bottleworks Art Center, Johnstown, PA.
crescendo!, Rocky Mountain Center for the Musical Arts benefit, Lafayette, CO.