The visual arts have always resonated with Joyce. As children, before her family had a tv, they would gather around a book of her mother's, which had full-color prints of the world's 100 "most famous" paintings. And they would fabricate stories about the images. Now Joyce realizes how much that programmed her to love the narrative in the visual arts. The mystery of a good painting intrigued her, and she still believes that mystery is always a component of her art.
There was a fabulous art department in Joyce's high school, and she took as many classes as she could. Following high school, she went on to get a degree in Fine Art Education from Hofstra University in New York State.
Immediately after graduation she went into the Peace Corps, teaching English in Ethiopia, what she calls "an invaluable experience." Leaving the U.S. and experiencing such a different culture and economic climate opened her up to a world view that has to be experienced to be comprehended.
From the time of her return to this country until the present, she has focused on painting, beginning in abstract expessionism and moving to being primarily a landscape painter. She shared her love of painting and drawing with children as an Artist in the Schools, and began doing interior and exterior murals, along with my studio work.
Working like this, in such a variety of settings and with many diverse goals, has been a wonderful opportunity to grow as an artist. There is the added benefit of working with a group of talented and inspiring artists, for a company that is unique in its vision. -- Jenny Joyce
In 1993, her friend (and today, her fellow McMenamins artist) Joe Cotter called and told me that Mike McMenamin was looking for artists to paint doors for Edgefield, a former county poor farm that he was renovating into a hotel property. Joyce went with Cotter to Edgefield one winter day, and showed her portfolio to McMenamin. They agreed that she would begin with a series of paintings on doors, which focused on the natural history of the area. The very first painting she did was an owl.
Over the years, of course, the subject matter has varied widely, from accurate historical representation to wildly imaginative takes on history and people, straightforward decorative treatments like borders in rooms, spot pieces on walls, faces on pipes, lettering and portraiture.
Joyce feels that working like this, in such a variety of settings and with many diverse goals, has given her wonderful opportunities to grow as an artist over the past 16 years with McMenamins. There is the added benefit of working with a group of talented and inspiring artists, for a company that is unique in its vision.
As a studio artist, Joyce also shows paintings at the Portland Art Museum's Rental Sales Gallery and the Spiral Gallery in Estacada, Ore.
You can see more of Jenny's work at her website, jennyjoyceart.com.