About the Artist
Janet Fagan graduated from the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, received her BFA from the University of Pennsylvania, and her MFA from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Janet has a deep background as an exhibiting artist and art educator. Her work is held in collections nationwide including locally with the University of Washington and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Informed by her love of the outdoors, Janet’s practice works to connect people to nature and support organizations advocating for the intrinsic worth of wild lands and inclusive access to them. When she is not painting, Janet’s favorite ways to play are creating music on her fiddle, or running up mountains and skiing through the woods with friends. She volunteers and is a teaching artist with the Frye Art Museum’s Creative Aging Program.
As a child I explored wilderness in coastal Florida where I learned to observe, listen and imagine. This early connection to nature has shaped my artistic practice. I create a sense of place in my work that is defined by these experiences, as well as my intuitive response to the materials I use. This is an environment of call and response between heart, mind and memory. When I paint, I ask myself how the various elements of the landscape inform my sense of identity and inclusion. During these past months of reflective time I have also been deeply considering how my connection to the environment is mediated by memory and privilege. Attachment to place holds security and comfort as often as hostility and indifference depending on our position or vantage point. How can we ensure that wild lands are a place of welcome, solace and learning for all? Through my work I strive to invite others to imagine and dream but also ask questions of positionality as art becomes a tool that bridges perspectives. My interpretation of the natural world invites others to participate through access points of joy, beauty and wonder. I also use my practice to advocate and support organizations that work for inclusive access for all into wild lands. Just as my studio practice supports inclusive access to nature, my teaching practice supports adults living with dementia by guiding them to a place of joy and creative fulfillment through making. Gratitude is part of my practice and I am continually looking for ways to use my work to give back in thanks for the ability to create and participate. I volunteer with and donate a portion all sales annually to organizations doing good work for conservation and justice.