Enthusiasms: Personal Paintings by Jessica Park
February 1 through May 28
Jessica Park (b. 1958) sees the world through high definition rainbow-colored glasses. A native of Williamstown, Massachusetts, Park is an internationally acclaimed artist on the autism spectrum. One of the few things that Park connected with during her early childhood was art and she has been a professional artist since the mid-1980s. Her paintings combine extreme technical proficiency with a transcendent, visionary imagination. Park’s images depict everyday objects and images with precise attention paid to the most mundane of details, along with scientifically accurate depictions of rare and unusual astronomical phenomenon, seamlessly brought together into fantastical combinations. This is all done in a brilliant, carefully calculated color palette and intricate patterning that seems to almost vibrate with energy.
Park is best known for her depictions of architecture, though early in her career she often painted whimsical images of electronic gadgets, signs, logos, and characters from popular culture, all of which still deeply fascinate the artist to this day. Enthusiasms: Personal Paintings by Jessica Park features a lesser-known aspect of Park’s work, focusing on the first decade of her career and more recent creations from the last decade that were created at the artist’s own initiative as gifts for family and friends, or to keep for herself. These works reflect Park’s deeply personal interests, or “enthusiasms” as she calls them, in popular culture, astronomical phenomenon, and prismatic lights and color, natural or man-made, often configured in tightly controlled grid-like structures.
Park’s work can be found in the Regional Artists’ Gallery while paintings by Gayleen Aiken are on view in the John T. Harrison, Jr. Orientation Hall where they are juxtaposed with photographs by Duane Michals.