PortfolioAssemblage – SOS Art

SOS ART – Works of Peace, Protest and Social Justice

Jan has participated in SOS ART since 2003, brilliantly organized by Saad Ghosn and installed with the fine eye of Bill Howes. All are welcome to submit artworks that address themes of peace and social justice, and each exhibition opening is accompanied by commentaries by the participating artists. This program has been successful encouragement to Cincinnati artists who feel the call to creation of imagery based on current events.

  • This series of masks reflects on our relationship with our children. Jan wrote, “At first it is as though you share the same breath. Then they begin to have their own ideas and push away Next, you hardly know them. If this is natural, why am I so sad?”

  • “Forgetting to Remember – Alzheimers Among Us” (2007) clay, keys, drawing on paper ribbon Display Dimensions (H/W/D): 6’x3’x 2.5’: When our brains no longer allow us access to our memories, who do we become? Are we like the infants we were before we knew how to do things for ourselves, before we had acquired experiences to remember? This strange reversal of mind effects 10% of the population over 65, and 50% of the population over 85. It is important to understand it, and to support development of effective treatments for both the “departing” individual and their families.

  • The installation includes a self portrait in stoneware with a variety of keys from Jan’s homes. The paper ribbon that emanates from the mouth has a written and drawn autobiographical account that begins with a child’s scrawls, develops into personal history which degenerates to confusion and fragments, and finally just a word, a doodle, silence.

  • Detail of the apothecary jar that holds the paper ribbon covered with personal history, and keys that have fallen from their place in the head, where memory can no longer be accessed.

  • “Balance” (2005) Seeking a place to live between excess and lack

    I have been studying the Tao te Ching for several years. Lao-Tzu’s treatise on how to live offers great advice for every question and situation, and Stephen Mitchell’s translation of this 6th century BC philosophy is a joy to discover.

    After Confucius’s death, his philosophy became the fundamental order of Chinese society. The Confucian Li (Code of Ethics) is the Chinese an equivalent of our Ten Commandments. The first five ideas concern the individual’s conduct, last three concern the individual’s conduct in the group. Theoretically, if all are practiced, the result is balance and harmony.

    The Confucian Li are:
    Yi Righteousness, Loyalty to Friends
    Li Order, Playing Your Role
    Zhi Wisdom
    Xin Trustworthiness
    Xiao Respect, Courtesy
    Zhong Loyalty to Country
    Shu Reciprocity, Decency, Grace

  • Spirit of Reconciliation (2010)

  • She Koshare (2011)

  • Memorial Windchime (2005) When Jan’s parents died, she placed some of their ashes beneath trees in her neighborhood park, but also reserved some ashes for a ceramics work that she could keep as a personal memorial. Rolling a variety of stoneware clays to paper thinness, Jan tore the clay sheets and pressed in ashes, then curved and pierced the forms. After firing she created pendants with the plates by threading them through with monofilament and suspending them from a rack created from tree branches from her garden. The windchime “speaks” to her from just outside her window.

  • Where is Our Rage? This 39” x 30” self portrait in oil and oil pastel was created for SOS Art 2006, and framed in a bright green timber frame bristling with nails. The caption to the painting in exhibition: “The American invasion of Iraq – a bloody sham – backroom machinations – daily body count – guilt and shame by association – fear-mongering and mind control – a propaganda campaign of lies – inability to educate our own struggling population – a pestilence that has spread farther than any small-time despont could have dreamed – our own despots hiding under the skirts of Democracy – America, where is your rage?”

  • Kali