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Press > COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE: Jenny McGee: Intertwining Journeys by Amy Wilder. August 19, 2012

COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE: Jenny McGee: Intertwining Journeys by Amy Wilder. August 19, 2012


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Local artists enjoy vibrant destinations and creative retreats


Some journeys are made within the heart, and any physical travel is peripheral to the process of transformation. Conversely, physical journeys are often a catalyst for profound exploration within. Artist Jenny McGee has gracefully intertwined both sorts of journeys in her life and created work reflective of her profound experiences.

McGee debuted paintings in a solo show at the World Trade Art Gallery in New York City this May. The opportunity came to her through connections made years ago in El Salvador, where she and her husband lived and worked for a not-for-profit focused on easing some of that culture's burdens of poverty.

The show consisted of two series of paintings: a figural series of nudes depicting the artist's physical changes since the age of 15 and a more abstract collection called "Water and Light." McGee said she had the work hung on opposing walls, and it created a sort of dialogue. "They both were contrasting approaches and techniques," she said. "I felt they were very complementary."

The figural series was created in part to document McGee's journey through trauma and healing as a breast cancer survivor, she explained. She said she also was responding to the experience of growing up in a culture that places unrealistic expectations upon young women in terms of body image. McGee described the paintings in her more abstract "Water and Light" series as being luminous and glossy. "They're all about emotion, expression and letting go."

The opening was well-attended, and McGee said she sold five pieces. She was more interested in the personal connection to the people who came to view her show, however. "I had wonderful conversations and just felt like I connected with strangers on a level that I feel art can only provoke and promote," she said.

She expressed joy at the dialogue and the experience of sharing the deeply personal and cathartic expression of her experiences.

"It was a dream come true to be able to show in such a well-versed and deep culture of art." McGee said.

Most of her figural series was taken down after her opening, but much of the "Water and Light" collection and work from another series, "Color and Perspective," remains in a permanent space at the World Trade Art Gallery in New York.


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