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 Jane Hamilton Hovde  (1921 - )

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Lived/Active: Washington      Known for: semi-abstract landscape painting, symbolism, drawing

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Jane Hamilton was born in 1921 on the tugboat Northwest in the seas of Rosario Strait, Washington State. She and her sister and brothers were raised on Blakeley and Whidbey Islands. Jane traveled a few miles north to attend Western Washington College of Education in Bellingham. While studying English and art, she met Annis Jorgen (A.J.) Hovde. A.J. came to Bellingham from Edmonds, Washington. Born the youngest of eleven children in 1917 in Alberta, Canada, his family moved to Washington State when he was seven years old. After high school, A.J. worked in sawmill and lumber employment, including the Civilian Conservation Corps, until 1939 when he enrolled in Western Washington College of Education.
In 1942, Jane received her teaching certificate from Western Washington College. That same year she married A.J. - immediately before his departure for a three-year tour in World War II. In 1944, she completed her Bachelor’s of Arts in Creative Writing from University of Washington. After A.J. reunited with Jane in Seattle, he also finished his degree with a Bachelor’s in English in 1947. While A.J. studied at the University of Washington, Jane continued her artistic education. She attended private lessons with Mark Tobey, the enigmatic Northwest painter, as well as full-time coursework in the University of Washington's art department. During the winter of 1947, the couple lived in New York City where she attended the Art Students’ League and he continued work on his Master’s degree. A.J. Hovde received his M.A. in English from the University of Washington in 1949.
In 1948, the Hovdes settled in Bellingham with employment at Western Washington State College. However, the Hovdes took several substantial sojourns from Bellingham. They spent a year in Palo Alto, California while A.J. studied at Stanford from 1951 to 1952. Then, after hosting W.H. Auden during his visit to Bellingham, they accepted an invitation to stay as guests at the poet’s villa on the island of Ischia, Italy, from 1955 to 1956. Other ventures included hosting students on a study-abroad program to Greece in 1970, and an artists-in-residence program at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, Virginia, in 1980. In Bellingham, A.J. built both the family’s homes where he and Jane raised their daughters Karen and Kathy.
Jane began exhibiting her work in 1947 with yearly showings in the Seattle Art Museum’s Annual Exhibition of Northwest Artists. Recognition began with the 1953 first prize at the Washington Territorial Centennial Show for “Nets and Driftwood.” The 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were industrious decades, reflecting her firm establishment as a Northwest artist. Exhibitions continued through her 1972 Retrospective and the 2000 Exhibit “Picasso’s Eye: A Subjective Symbolic Process,” both held at Whatcom Museum of Art and History in Bellingham.

Jane’s works appeared nationally with traveling exhibits of the Seattle Art Museum and the Smithsonian Institution; while living in Italy, she exhibited in Rome. Her paintings and drawings reside in private collections and the permanent collections of the Seattle Art Museum, the Whatcom County Museum of History and Art and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Jane’s early artistic style reflected a semi-abstract treatment of landscapes and scenes she observed in the Pacific Northwest and Italy. Many subjects include beach and fishing images such as fishnets and driftwood. Through the decades, her images became more abstract and expressionistic, eventually emphasizing her interest in Jungian symbolic imagery.

Submitted September 2013 by Gary Knudtzon for the artist.

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