Garden brightness a hallmark for painter

Artist-in-residence at Adair School of Art.

Artist-in-residence at Adair School of Art.

IN THE HOUSE: Gisborne painter Jess Jacobs is the first artist in residence to enjoy the studio at the newly opened Adair School of Art. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

The blaze of garden colours that brings to mind works by New Zealand printmaker Pat Hanly and post-impressionist painter Henri Rousseau spring out of Jess Jacobs’ big canvases.

As artist-in-residence at the recently opened Adair School of Art, Jacobs has the opportunity to work on her own paintings in a studio at the school. The eight-week residency also entails running classes for one hour a week.

The school’s founder Jacqui Kay set up the artist-in-residency to support local artists and for those artists to share their skills with students, says Jacobs.

Painting is Jacob’s sole medium.

“I work in acrylics on canvas, mostly on a large scale, but I work in a range of genres. My work is a kaleidoscope.”

At art school she focussed on Pacific-themed works.

“These were inspired by my nana who moved from Samoa to New Zealand in her 20s.”

Jacobs has also worked in portraiture and large garden-themed pieces.

“I painted (arts patron) Jack Richards’ garden. That work was made up of eight pieces and was 15 metres long. I painted it over a year and worked on location and from photographs.”

In the past few years, Jacobs has turned her attention to social anthropology and recently gained a degree in the subject through Massey University.

“That has enriched my art, I think. To be able to paint a series based on historical narratives you need to research and look at symbolism. I’m using this as a basis to explore historical and colonial narratives in Samoa.

“In 2009, I spent time in Samoa in residency in a gallery there. My latest series looks at colonialism and its effects on the landscape and people.’

Adair School of Art 'a real hub'

Closer to home, Jacobs’ course at the Adair School of Art takes students from skills such as stretching canvas, sourcing imagery, finding inspiration and painting techniques, through to the logistics of mounting an exhibition.

“My course is a little more advanced than just the basics. It also covers booking an exhibition, pricing, publicity and freight.”

At the end of the two-month residency, Jacobs will exhibit her work alongside students.

“It’s so good having a space like this in town. It’s a real hub here.”

The blaze of garden colours that brings to mind works by New Zealand printmaker Pat Hanly and post-impressionist painter Henri Rousseau spring out of Jess Jacobs’ big canvases.

As artist-in-residence at the recently opened Adair School of Art, Jacobs has the opportunity to work on her own paintings in a studio at the school. The eight-week residency also entails running classes for one hour a week.

The school’s founder Jacqui Kay set up the artist-in-residency to support local artists and for those artists to share their skills with students, says Jacobs.

Painting is Jacob’s sole medium.

“I work in acrylics on canvas, mostly on a large scale, but I work in a range of genres. My work is a kaleidoscope.”

At art school she focussed on Pacific-themed works.

“These were inspired by my nana who moved from Samoa to New Zealand in her 20s.”

Jacobs has also worked in portraiture and large garden-themed pieces.

“I painted (arts patron) Jack Richards’ garden. That work was made up of eight pieces and was 15 metres long. I painted it over a year and worked on location and from photographs.”

In the past few years, Jacobs has turned her attention to social anthropology and recently gained a degree in the subject through Massey University.

“That has enriched my art, I think. To be able to paint a series based on historical narratives you need to research and look at symbolism. I’m using this as a basis to explore historical and colonial narratives in Samoa.

“In 2009, I spent time in Samoa in residency in a gallery there. My latest series looks at colonialism and its effects on the landscape and people.’

Adair School of Art 'a real hub'

Closer to home, Jacobs’ course at the Adair School of Art takes students from skills such as stretching canvas, sourcing imagery, finding inspiration and painting techniques, through to the logistics of mounting an exhibition.

“My course is a little more advanced than just the basics. It also covers booking an exhibition, pricing, publicity and freight.”

At the end of the two-month residency, Jacobs will exhibit her work alongside students.

“It’s so good having a space like this in town. It’s a real hub here.”

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.