Jennifer O'Connell Biography
Obscure, private visions that alienate the mind in daylight, keep a potent mooring within
me. Inspired by what the mind conjures, perception is influenced by contemplation.
Shadows, objects, and shapes are gateways to memories. Imaginings mingle with
perceptions. In dreaming before rooms, I come in contact with transient psychological
aspects. Literally and symbolically, the interior space is the self.
While nudging perception toward visual metaphor, I seek visual surprise. Visual and
conceptual depth intersect through a back and forth process of direct observation
and separation; reality is the support for suggestion. Under changing conditions,
paintings are built up piece by piece, seeking compositional and conceptual resonance.
Through an additive and subtractive visual search, variety in application and alternate
descriptions are explored through the color medium. Objects are surpassed as symbols;
fragments of the moments compressed into each painting emerge as temporal evidence
and manifestations of human presences.
Jennifer O’Connell grew up in the Adirondack region of upstate New York. She earned
an MFA degree in painting and drawing from the University of New Hampshire and
a BFA from SUNY Plattsburgh. Additionally, she studied fine art at the University
College Chester in England on a Giltz Family Travel Award. After receiving her MFA,
she was invited to show in the Young Talent exhibition in Washington Depot, CT.
Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous awards including an Elizabeth
Greenshields Foundation Fellowship, a Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency Grant,
and a Massachusetts State Cultural Council Grant. She has led public lectures and
participated in panel discussions on the East Coast. Visiting Guest Artist Lectures
include Barton College in NC and SUNY Plattsburgh in NY. Her exhibition record
includes national and international shows at Fraser Gallery in Washington, DC and the
Bowery Gallery in New York, NY. In 2008, she was selected by juror Cynthia Reeves
for the New England New Talent Exhibition at the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg,
MA. In 2011, she was invited to exhibit her work at the College of William and Mary in
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