Jennifer John­son

Nos­tal­gia

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - JENNIFER JOHN­SON

Grow­ing up as the daugh­ter of a plant pathol­o­gist, artist Jennifer John­son was able to travel across the coun­try camp­ing and hik­ing na­tional parks like Yel­low­stone, Grand Te­ton and Arches. In her Au­gust show at A. Banks Gallery, John­son show­cases a new body of work along with land­scape artist Gary Hu­ber. About a year and a half in the mak­ing, John­son’s new series was in­spired by the mid-1930s to 1940s na­tional park poster series dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion. Dur­ing this time pe­riod, John­son ex­plains, un­em­ployed artists were hired to cre­ate posters to pro­mote the parks. John­son says she holds onto the mem­o­ries of visit­ing these parks as a child and see­ing these iconic posters—most of which have been lost to­day—and was in­spired to cre­ate new art­work in the same vin­tage style.

In these paint­ings, John­son in­cor­po­rates ty­pog­ra­phy over an­i­mals like bears, bison and elk in var­i­ous wilder­ness back­drops. All let­ter­ing is hand-painted and made to look pur­pose­fully im­per­fect, John­son says. In many ways, she’s been able to blend the artis­tic worlds of graphic de­sign and paint­ing to­gether.

Of­ten, col­lec­tors will tell her about cer­tain lo­ca­tions they’ve vis­ited at na­tional parks that evoke spe­cial mem­o­ries and com­mis­sion her to paint the spot for them. “I’m try­ing to pull back those vin­tage mem­o­ries,” John­son says. “Peo­ple have mem­o­ries from [their] trav­els. It’s a big deal grow­ing up to have those... So it’s a fun piece to in­cor­po­rate into your col­lec­tion.”

“Jennifer’s work cap­tures the spirit of the West and is a con­sis­tent fa­vorite with gallery clients…she’s a ver­sa­tile tal­ent, and we are look­ing for­ward to the up­com­ing show,” says Alissa Banks, owner of A. Banks Gallery. This lat­est body of work de­buted

at The Rus­sell Live this past March. One of John­son’s pieces, The Great Amer­i­can Wild West, sold above es­ti­mates at $23,400.

Cur­rently, John­son is in the be­gin­ning stages of a large piece she is cre­at­ing on the Sperry Chalet ho­tel at Glacier Na­tional Park for the Glacier Na­tional Park Con­ser­vancy as a do­na­tion to help re­build the ho­tel, which was lost to a for­est fire last year.

John­son’s up­com­ing show at A. Banks Gallery will be­gin on Au­gust 10 at 6 p.m. and runs through Au­gust 31.

Ver­nal Falls, oil on can­vas, 36 x 24"

John­son in her stu­dio.

Vin­tage Glacier Black Bear, oil on can­vas, 36 x 24"

Yel­low­stone Bison, oil on can­vas, 36 x 24"

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