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Jenny McMaster

 

Overview

Biography

I am interested in teaching or administration in a Gallery, Museum or CEGEP while continuing with my own artistic and curatorial practices.
My art combines painting, textiles and stitch work. My recent work employs the media of handmade paper and encaustics. Earlier exhibits have depicted urban spaces and explored architecture and clothing as second skins. A recent series, Retrievals and Alterations, recovers the stories and faces of artist models and other half remembered women, through mixed media works. My interest in fabric, external encasements and feminist concerns lead to a collaboration with fellow Stables artist Karina Bergmans in the Cake Show. This performance featured both cake dresses and fake cakes delving into both sexual politics and modern ritual.

Work experiences

  • Internship Coordinator

    With Concordia University from September 2008 to May 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    Coordinated placements of about 50 art education students at community sites in Montreal<br><br> Maintained communications with community sites<br><br> Advised teacher's assistants assigned to observe and evaluate undergraduate art education students<br><br> Organized meetings between professors and teacher's assistants
  • Educational Programmer

    With Concordia University from January 2009 to April 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    Planned, scheduled and delivered interactive tours and related art activities for Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery exhibits at Concordia University<br><br> Promoted educational programming to CEGEP, High School, Day Care and Community Educators<br>
  • Picture Framer

    With Germotte Studio from January 2005 to August 2007 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
    Cut and joined moldings, dressed corners; built hard, softwood and plastic frames<br><br> Managed shipping and receiving and acquired extensive knowledge of molding companies; Larson Juhl, Frame Guild, Roma, Omega, Triple Touch, Fotio <br><br> Dry-mounted posters, stretched canvases, built shadow boxes and various kinds of object mounts<br><br> Experience with design software; Corel Draw, Corel Photopaint, Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, Wizard (Matt Cutting Program), Auto Cad
  • Gallery Assistant

    With DeLeon White Gallery from September 2002 to September 2003 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    Wrote press releases, sales campaign and fund raising letters <br> Prepared a business plan<br><br> Publicized exhibits through email list-serves, mail outs and cold calls<br><br> Coordinated and scheduled the opening, installation and take down of several exhibits<br><br> Successfully applied for Canada Council and Industry Canada grants<br><br> Initiated the application for the Gallery’s first European Art Fairs <br><br> Organized artist files and contact data base
  • Public Programmer

    With Spadina Museum from June 2002 to August 2002 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    Researched background of historical site in preparation for art and drama camp <br><br> Planned and taught arts and crafts <br><br> Ordered supplies<br><br> Authored report on activities and budget
  • Curator and Collection Manager

    With Carleton University Art Gallery from June 2001 to December 2001 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
    Updated Tyler-Brooks loans catalog on File Maker Pro <br><br> Updated artist's files for the Michel Christensen collection using art periodicals and the National Gallery Library<br><br> Curated three exhibits featuring works from the Tyler-Brooks Collection of Inuit Art <br><br> Wrote two columns for Inuit Art Quarterly, “Curator’s Notes”<br> Designed on-line exhibits <br><br> Spoke on radio and television about exhibits
  • Space and Displacement

    With VAV Gallery Concordia University from February 2009 to February 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    Space and Displacement explores both inner and outer environments. Mental spaces, social spaces, domestic spaces and city spaces are investigated. While social interactions, emotional associations and philosophical concepts shape built environments there is often a disconnect between external environments and inner worlds. There is always an adjustment period when an individual or group moves from one place to another.<br><br> Space and Displacement features the work of graduate and undergraduate Art Education Students. The diverse styles, mediums and talents in this exhibit present compelling evidence that those teach are also accomplished artists. The exhibitions theme was inspired by the Art Education students' struggle to find adequate studio on the university campus.
  • Parkette: In No Way Removed

    With Gallery 1313 from June 2005 to July 2005 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    Parkette endeavors to explore the psychology and sociology of both urban planning and the urbanite. What do these small spaces reveal about the activities, needs and coping strategies of the city dweller? While parks are recreational spaces where an individual or group can take a break from the urban environment, the parkette’s natural environmental features are often negligible. There is rarely enough room to throw a Frisbee without it flying into oncoming traffic, and there is nothing essentially restful about a bench on seven square feet of grass along side a major city artery. The parkette is a marginal island of green in the midst of a sea of asphalt and concrete.
  • Retrievals and Alterations Current

    From January 2007 to present in Ottawa-Montreal, Quebec, Ontario, Canada.
    Retrievals and Alterations revisits both the side characters in the biographies of historical figures and some of the black sheep of my own ancestry. The images are drawn primarily from old photographs.<br><br> I completed and sold a painting with the full title “My Spinster Aunt Who was also a Seamstress for Eatons.” My great aunt Doreen made her own money by doing repairs and alternations for the now defunct Canadian Department Store. She never married and died of breast cancer. I never met her but I dedicated a mixed media portrait to my long deceased releative.<br><br> My aunt did repairs and alterations. It is my effort in this series to retrieve figures of the past to repair or alter the story told by the cameraman, the artist or the historical narrative. To aid me in this task I employ some of the same tools as my aunt; needle, thread and fabric.
  • The Cake Show Current

    With Pukka Gallery, Toronto Alternative Fashion Show from September 2006 to present in Ottawa, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    While shopping for laces and ruffles to detail an earlier mixed media work I was struck by their similarity to toppings on cake. Frosting acts as a cake’s clothing, dressing it up for events both formal and informal. Many outfits, are only worn once, such as wedding gowns or first communion dresses. Angel food cakes, devil’s food cakes, birthday cakes all have different styles and associations. The only frosting job that is worn as a literal garment, however, is the cake a stripper jumps out of at a bachelor party. The cake her outerwear, she wears lingerie beneath. “She Forgot to Jump Out of the Cake” a two dimensional mixed media piece, is the seminal work in my tongue in cheek exploration of the theme of the edible woman.<br><br> “The Cake Show” continues the artistic examination of frocks and food. While other artists, like Jana Sterbak, have already made the comparison between clothing, food and flesh, I would assert, that as women’s place in society continues to evolve, we must be aware of when we are happily complicit in our sexual identities and when we are playing a mating game we feel we cannot sit out. When do we feel devoured? When do we enjoy the game of dress up and feel on equal or even higher footing? My performance set to the tune of If I'd a Known You Were Coming could be the routine of either a candy gram or an exotic dancer. The classic song is both sweet and ironic.<br><br> Fashion remains a key sociological concern in the applied arts. In societies where masks and costumes are a regular part of community ritual, clothing has a well-recognised significance. In a time and place where special garb is frequently considered “just frosting” there is often more going on than we realise in the act of donning apparel.
  • Between the Lines Current

    From January 2008 to present in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    The creases and contours of clothing become a topography of the wearer's experience. While the cut and pattern of a garment often reflects cultural semiotics, the wear and tear on an item reflects the habits and history of the individual who wore it. Like a palm reader the sensitive viewer may find life lines, heart lines and head lines hidden about a discarded T-shirt. Like roads on a map we may follow the fold down a sleeve or pant leg to discern the psychology of crossed legs or folded arms.<br><br> The lines in my work are drawn with stitch-work on hand made paper. While some pieces are left in a raw state, others have been used to create encaustic paintings in which the paper becomes transparent or almost vanishes. While the sensitive contours of my work express the idiosyncrasies of the personal, the colours of the encaustic paint, or collage elements like bits of fabric, evoke environments. In the triptych “On the Line” patterns on the fabric escape the boundaries of the items of clothing to merge with the sea side setting. In “Pinstripes” the vertical lines of the text evoke the prison an office can become. A conversation emerges, between the cultural expression and restrictions embodied by clothing, and the details of private worlds.

Skillset

Spoken languages
English, Intermediate French
Written languages
English, Intermediate French
Education/Training
2007-2009
Master's in Art Education
Concordia University
Thesis on Museum Education and Outreach Programs
1993-1998
Bachelor's in Art History and Religion, Highest Honours
Carleton University
Tech skills
Excel, Microsoft Word, Gimp, Power Point, Outlook, Corel Photopaint, Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrotor, Komposer
Specialized equipment
Wizard Computerized Mat-Cutter, Framing Equipment for cutting and joining, Dry Mount Press