Whether sketching the city while moving through it, or whether capturing the scars wrought by vast mining operations, Jean Arnold is visually engaged with how humans impact the land around her. She is originally from the Northwest’s Palouse region, where its unique rolling hills inspired her artistically from a young age. Its sinuous contours influenced Jean to engage a biomorphic sensibility, and its abstract qualities influenced her to abstract from observation in her work.
Arnold earned her MFA from Northern Vermont University (previously Johnson State College), in conjunction with the Vermont Studio Center, where she received guidance from many artistic luminaries.
While in graduate school, she had the good fortune of having Nicolas Carone as an instructor in Italy at the International School of Art (ISA). A legendary teacher, Carone was an original member of the New York Abstract Expressionist scene, a founding faculty member of the New York Studio School, and founder of ISA. At the same time, the Italian landscape inspired her and resonated with her own visual experiences of the Palouse.
After graduate school, she chose to work with the urban landscape (while moving through it via mass transit) for almost a decade. Then, her growing concerns about human impacts on the planet – while also living near one of the largest pit mines in the world in Salt Lake City – led her to work with large-scale mining imagery.
Ms. Arnold has exhibited her paintings and mixed media paperworks in numerous solo and group shows, regionally and nationally. Her work is found in numerous public, corporate, and private collections. She will be included in a forthcoming exhibit in 2021 at the Missoula Art Museum, EDGE OF THE ABYSS: ARTISTS PICTURING THE BERKELEY PIT. In 2018, Jean had a solo show in the Weber County Library System in Utah. In 2014, her work was included in the exhibit “Creation and Erasure” at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. In 2008, she had a solo museum exhibit at the Yellowstone Art Museum, in Billings, Montana. In 2002, Arnold was recipient of the Utah Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship Award.
Jean has recently returned to the Palouse area and is seeing it anew, as if for the first time.