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 Jane Kammerer Starks  (1951 - )

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Lived/Active: Texas/California      Known for: landscape painting-seasonal forest interiors

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Thousand Lakes Mountain, Teasdale, Utah, 1999
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden:
Artist Statement:

Illusion, the vehicle of photography and painting, is a powerful lens to reality. The deliberated image reveals truths about the artist, the viewer, and the world that surrounds them. These paintings, which do not represent photo-realism, nonetheless have a liminal relationship with photography: they reveal moments of candor in the landscape;  they seek the sense of frontal exposure and reality that we might experience while looking at portrait photography. And, like photography, they cannot escape the idealizing properties of light.

Wilderness and its urban fragments  draw me in. Through these paintings I want to capture empirically, not romantically, the truth of what I see and how I see it. They are specific to  the season and time of day, as well as terrain and vegetation. I wish to deepen as well as heighten the sensations created by looking at a painting, to pull the viewer more intimately into the picture plane, and to create paintings that achieve a striking optical immediacy and reveal a supple painterly navigation between representation and abstraction; sense and nonsense.

It is very important to understand that these paintings are started and completed entirely on site, without reliance on photographs or preliminary sketches.I paint in gouache, a medium of remarkable fluency, which allows me to  balance pictorial clarity with subtle tonal contrasts. The sense of encompassing or advancing space is created by eliminating commonplace references to scale such as people, animals, roads, or buildings, and by avoiding or minimizing a dominant focus in the composition. The transient phenomena of light - shadows, reflections, transparencies, cast color, and halation - shape my understanding of color and value. The challenge is painting multiple or overlapping picture planes, rather than more distance-based or simplified compositions, and to avoid reliance on traditional landscape painting conventions related to scale, perspective, depth, and proximity. Time, in these paintings, breathes in and out in - patterns of dark and light, recorded during the same hours of the day, over many days, are conflated in one image. The best paintings appear to generate their own light.  These paintings may be regarded as merely descriptive, but I think they push description further.

Finally, I want to contribute to a visual archive of our world. Our environment is being degraded at its edges as well as its core by escalating  human activity. Photographers have dedicated themselves to documenting the  alteration and deterioration of the landscape. I hope my paintings serve as a record of the solitude and beauty of the diminishing wilderness under our domain.

Artist Biography:
Painting, a deferred passion, is the means by which I have been able to pursue a range of interests.  I immerse myself in the history and archaeology of the places I love to paint: Ojo Caliente hot springs and Taos, in New Mexico;  the wildernesses of the San Rafael Swell and Escalante river canyons, in Utah; and Blanco canyon and the hill country rivers of Texas.  During my painting forays I often meet wonderful people, passionate about these regions, who reveal to me places I never would have discovered on my own.

I was born in Long Beach, California, in 1951, and grew up in Fullerton, California. My adult years were spent in Dallas, Texas, where I raised two children.  I graduated with an undergraduate degree in archaeology from California State University at Long Beach in 1974.  In 1985 I earned a Masters of Science in Community and Regional Planning, in the School of Architecture at University of Texas in Austin.  My focus was transportation planning for persons with mental retardation.  Over the next few years I authored several papers, published by the National Research Council, which led to modifications in federal law which brought people with mental retardation within the scope of accessibility mandates for public transportation.

After I moved to Dallas in 1982, I helped Dallas Area Rapid Transit establish mobility training services, first as a volunteer for ARC (formerly the Association For Retarded Citzens), then as an employee, teaching people to ride the bus.   In 1999 I received a Masters of Fine Art from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.  From 1996 to 2001 I was a volunteer art teacher in a residential mental health program.  I taught painting at Brookhaven Community College from 2003 until 2007. Since 2007 I have lived in Taos, New Mexico, where I am active in the Taos Archaeological Society. My work is shown at Valley House Gallery, in Dallas, Texas."

1951, California

1974 BA, Anthropology/Archeology, California State University, Long Beach, CA
1985 MS, Community and Regional Planning, University of Texas, Austin, Texas
1999 MFA, Painting, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

1998 Dallas Area Art - Small Works Exhibition, Lowell Collins Gallery, Houston, Texas
1999 Masters of Fine Arts Qualifying Exhibition, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
2001 USArtists,Tenth Anniversary art fair, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2001 One person show, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2002 McNay Art Fair, McNay Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas (Valley House Gallery)
2003 McNay Art Fair, McNay Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas (Valley House Gallery)
2003 Works on Paper, The Park Avenue Armory, New York, New York (Valley House Gallery)
2004 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2004 One person show, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2005 Art in the Key of Green, Group Show, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2007 Away From Home:  Artists Roam and Respond, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2008 Texas Tour: 100 Years of Texas Landscape Painting, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2008 Art + Advocacy:  An Auction Benefiting the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center, 333 First Avenue, Dallas, Texas
2010 Shorelines, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2011 Fresh & Salty (a Valley House Gallery group exhibition), Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth, Texas

1997 Texas Visual Arts Association 50th Anniversary Show, Second Place
1998 Wayne County Fair, Utah, First Place


Bucher, Kristen, "Texas and Beyond", Southwest Art Magazine, June, 2001, p. 80, reproduction.

"Exhibit of the Month", D Magazine, June, 2001, p. 25, reproduction.

The Dallas Morning News
, Texas Living: Today's Guide, Monday, June 18, 2001, section C, p. 1A, reproduction.

50th Anniversary Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas, March 5 - 27, 2004, color reproduction.

Frederick Turner, "The Eyes of Texas: Texas Art and Texas Light," American Arts Quarterly, published by The Newington-Cropsey Cultural Studies Center (Hastings-on-Hudson, New York), Summer 2010, Volume 27, Number 3, pages 27-33.

Public Collections:
Belo Corporation, Dallas, Texas
ECM Partners, Dallas, Texas
Smith, Douglass, and McConnico, Austin, Texas

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