Jane Kang Lawrence received her BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Following a residency at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica and residency at Casaterra (Puglia, Italy) she continued to dovetail art making with teaching by pursuing her Masters from the School of Visual Arts. She has taught visual arts, ceramics, and visual literacy for students in New York City for over 15 years. Jane is a recent recipient of a Teaching Excellence award from the FLAG Foundation, NYC. Jane is a founding director of Peep Space (Tarrytown, NY) and maintains a studio in New York.
As the seismic challenges of 2020 affect us, I reflect even more on displacement and history. I have used this time of what feels like waiting and wanting to dive deeper into my heritage. For many years I focused on creating paintings around the idea of place and architecture. Perhaps this new body is an exploration of home and the scaffolding of my history. In my recent paintings I am creating a modern take on minwhas. Minhwas are a Korean folk art that dates back centuries, to the Joseon Dynasty. The word, minhwa, means “painting of the people''. Feelings of displacement become faint when I paint my figures. In many ways, I feel more connected to those who will never see them, the family I have never met, now separated in North Korea. There is hope that one day, if they were able to view my paintings, the beauty of the familiar minhwa style would be an invisible thread that still ties our families together.
As an arts educator, I encourage my students to keep their eyes open to their environment. They can do this by remembering to consistently stay curious about their surroundings and history, and wonder about nature. I hope to give my students the confidence to know that their visions and views of the world can be used to create art, share with others, and be seen and read as valid expression. Currently I am focusing on creating a more inclusive curriculum that can help my young artists engage with current events in a safe and creative environment.
Peep Space inquiries: PeepSpaceNY@GMAIL.COM