robert sparrow jones

The Uncertain Landscape


[west gallery]

On View July 15 - August 15, 2016

artist statement | The Uncertain landscape

I am interested in narrative; storytelling through pictures evoking a deep sense of place. What moves me to make these works is the trifecta of memory, love, and the passage of time. The pictures serve as a shifting cross-section-using color, tone, and an expressive languor in paint language, to create a local dialect that, although uneven, I think vividly captures the energy, the mutability, or perhaps the stubborn persistence of what it's like to be affected by place. They are meant to act in the present but suggest a past, moving with the rhythm of everyday life that is rife with multiple time signatures. The figures are intended to add atmosphere to past peregrinations and dalliances and knit the uncertainties of our life's complications into such a lovely, changeable shifting. The emotional landscape emerges when our attentiveness to the sensual world brings a certain mutable responsiveness from the imperatives of consciousness.



Robert Sparrow Jones received his BFA from Kutztown University and his MFA from the Hoffberger School of Painting, MICA. He was an artist in Residence at The Studios of Key West, Museum of Glass, the Frye Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Pratt Fine Arts Center, and the Vermont Studio Center. He was awarded the Deering Estate fellowship in Miami and Can Serrat, Spain. Jones' work has been reviewed in Oxford American Magazine, Athens Food and Culture, Seattle Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, and his paintings are in New American Paintings. His work has been exhibited from New York to Hong Kong and he is a Regular Contributing Arts Writer for the Michigan Quarterly Review. He lives and works by the Ballard Locks in Seattle WA.

See more on Robert's artist page.






[front gallery]

Artist Talk  |  Saturday August 6, 12:30–2pm

On View July 15 - August 15, 2016


The human relationship with nature and how we perceive the natural world can be both poignant and volatile. Janna Rice's work collages and translates elements and scenes from our natural environment into narratives. Some of the work feels like ritual, some a flash of memory, and some a woven mythology. By using a variety of photographic techniques Rice allows us to access stories, redefine landscapes, and see our natural environment and ourselves in a deeper way. 

One of the series in this exhibition invokes staged reliquaries, paying homage to both abundance and decay, and creating a narrative from simple yet fraught elements. Other pieces are more process-based experiential moments. They take a photograph of some element of nature and solarize it, bringing us a fresh view, a window into little-noticed subtleties and a new appreciation for familiar natural forms. A third set of images - triptychs of family photos melded with natural scenes - hit the viewer with pangs of both nostalgia and hope. These works bring to the forefront how natural elements can intensify memory and highlight the complexity our emotional experience. 

All of these works use nature as a metaphor, a mythology and a reminder. They take moments, scenes and fragments from a vast external world, then arrange and transform them to bring us closer to our own experience, memories, and relationships.  


Janna Rice is an artist and educator living in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a member of the Arts faculty at The Park School of Baltimore. In her role as curator for the school's gallery program Janna has overseen the planning and installation of a dozen exhibits over the last three years. Janna earned an MFA in Digital Design from Towson University in 2009 and a BFA in Photography from MICA in 1995. Exhibitions include Art Karma Kollective at VisArts, Rockville, MD, Women in Contemporary Art at Four Starr Gallery, Stonington, CT, Emerge Art Fair in Washington, DC and San Francisco art MRKT. Janna has shown with Jordan Faye Contemporary multiple times over the last 5 years, this is her second solo exhibition with us.

See more on Janna's artist page.