Jennifer Levine

category: Visual,

Contact & Info


Artist Statement

My work with students, as well as my personal artwork is intuitive, spontaneous and free spirited. I create paintings, dolls, murals and objects with bright, bold color mixing images of human figures with shapes, animals, text and collage elements. Many of my paintings and drawings contain images of women with their arms outstretched, in nature or in a surreal circus. The women find home with magical elephants who escort them on their journeys’ -  symbolizing freedom and self-acceptance.  I work in both oils and acrylics on 6 feet x 6 feet raw canvas. I start a painting with a vision that arrives either through looking at an artist’s work that I am drawn to, a dream or a feeling that I want to express. I chalk out the painting until I am happy with a basic composition then I begin to work into it with color and texture. I am particularly interested in energetic color, brush strokes and big, bold design. At the center of most of my work is a human form - often not rendered realistically - but created out of shapes - thus simplifying the figure. This “person” grounds my work in the human plane, but allows for the spirit to be visible. In March due to covid, I left my home in Montclair and moved to New Paltz. Feeling fearful of Covid, I began experimenting with new materials. The softness of wool and yarn were drawing me in and I crafted a loom and taught myself to weave. The repetitive gestures of weaving and gentleness of the yarn offered comfort and calm in a chaotic world. Since art stores were not open and I could not buy new canvas, I experimented with cutting up former paintings and attaching them as college elements to already completed paintings to add dimension. When hardware stores opened - not having acrylic paint left -  I bought Rust-Oleum and it’s saturated, shiny gloss inspired graphic new work with women in shiny capes and boots.  The art that most stirs me in labeled “outsider art.” I feel particularly identified with artists who created work in isolation, or through trauma. The rawness of the work, combined with the indomitable spirit  and natural manifestation of the artistic impulse, inspires me.  My expectation is that viewers of my work will be engaged with the juxtaposition of a gentle “folk art” feel with bold imagery and unapologetic politics. That said,  my experience has taught me that viewers understand the work on their own terms and like dreams, it is best that they decide its meaning. My deepest wish is that viewing my work liberates the viewer  to tap into their own authenticity, digging deep to gain courage to find their own path.

Educational Background

I graduated with a BA from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. Following that, I attended the San Francisco school of circus arts where I completed a two year training program. I am currently a Master’s candidate in Painting/Drawing at SUNY/New Paltz.

Teaching Artist Experience

For the past 7 years I have been working with school children through a non-profit I founded called, “The Peace Garden song and Mural project.”  I currently facilitate large scale interior and  exterior mural projects in schools and community centers in New York, New Jersey and Penn.