Eugene painter, Jan Reaves explores abstractly, the essence of elements found in everyday life. Using a vocabulary of gestural line and shapes, she connects with an idea or an object, and through process, and exploring structure and composition, she gains a depth and clarity to the knowledge of her subject matter. Reaves says, “painting (forms) becomes a tool for thought and feeling…the painting needs to move from this highly personal place of “beginning” to a more expansive connection to the world around me.” Her initial forms are derived from architecture, the figure, domestic objects, and relational concepts, and honed down to the essentials. The elements begin to have duplicitous meanings, and as they are gradually built up, develop a presence and power. Open-ended, Reaves’ outcomes have no easy interpretations, leading the viewer ultimately to the work’s richly enigmatic and haunting qualities.
Northwest artist, Jan Reaves received her MFA from the University of Oregon in 1983. She has shown her work over the past 30 years in numerous group exhibitions, nationally. Her work has been included four times in the Oregon Biennial since 1985. Other exhibitions include Western Oregon University, Monmouth; Western Michigan University; Kalamazoo; St. John's University, Jamaica, NY; and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, CA. She has won various awards including the Juror's award for the 2001 Oregon Biennial at the Portland Art Museum. She has taught art throughout the Northwest and at U of O since 1998.