ANGELES) August 27, 2010 – The Fresno Art Museum Council
of 100 Distinguished Women Artists has chosen painter and photographer
Kathryn Jacobi as the Distinguished Woman Artist of 2010. The museum will
celebrate Jacobi’s career with an extensive exhibition of her work
entitled “Night Travelers and Other Waking Dreams,” which
explores the imaginative forces of dreaming in a collection of more than
30 works in oil on paper, wood panel and canvas. Jacobi’s paintings
will display in the Fig Garden Gallery.
“The Council of 100 has persistently chosen women artists of great
distinction – it has been patient in waiting for Kathryn Jacobi
to come of age, that is, to celebrate her 60th birthday. Unanimously elected
as the 22nd Distinguished Woman Artist by the Fresno Art Museum’s
Council of 100, Jacobi joins the prestigious company of the twenty-one
California women previously honored by this annual award including June
Wayne, Helen Lundeberg, Ruth Weisberg, Viola Frey, Nancy Genn, Olga Seem,
Junko Chodos, and Joan Tanner,” explained curator Jacquelin Pilar.
“Long awaited, this exhibition covers the 40 years of Jacobi’s
life spent as a professional artist.”
The exhibit, Jacobi’s fourth at the museum and fifth in Fresno,
will open the evening of Friday, September 10, 2010 with a special event
from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Admission to the opening reception is free for
museum members and the artist’s guests; other patrons will be charged
a $10 entrance fee.
In addition, the Council of 100 will host an invitation-only luncheon
on Saturday, September 11, 2010, after which Jacobi will present a slideshow
lecture, open to the public, at 1:00 p.m. in the museum’s Bonner
“The Fresno Art Museum has long been a haven for California's artists,”
said Kathryn Jacobi. “I am delighted to have been selected for this
honor and look forward to sharing my work with the museum’s patrons.”
About the Exhibit
Assembled by veteran curator Jacquelin Pilar, this unusual exhibit promises
to open a door into the viewers’ personal unknowns, freeing both
their angels and their demons. Most of the exhibit comprises paintings
completed from the mid 1990s through 2008.
The centerpiece of the show is a group of 12 paintings, collectively called
“Night Travelers,” which has never before been exhibited together.
Its subject matter is raw and uncensored. Moving quickly through emotional
states— from gentle and humorous circus imagery to the brutality
of “The Burning Hand,” the stuff of nightmares—Jacobi
explores what it means to be fully human and vulnerable in a very dangerous
world. Better known for her realist paintings and portraits, Jacobi has
rarely shown pieces from this challenging and thought-provoking body of
“The Night Travelers” is complemented by an exhibition of
Six smaller paintings and one large panel, collectively called “The
Minor Pantheon,” explore the life stages of birth, youth, adulthood
and death and are dedicated to the memory of Jacobi’s friend, writer
and musician Barbara Karp.
“Sleepwalking Through the Apocalypse,” a series of paintings
that Jacobi has been very intentionally planning and executing these past
ten years, is her response to the terrorist attacks on New York City’s
The final collection in this show is a series called “Headshots,”
which the artist considers to be alternatives to traditional portraits.
In these works, Jacobi “mines the image” to explores up to
ten variations of a single visage.
Three additional paintings, “Boneyard,” “Twins,”
and “Woman Turning Into a Tree,” round out the exhibition.
“When I begin a painting, it is an instinctive act. The paintings
in this show emerged without my understanding their meaning. Analysis
comes later, usually when I am far into a series. Other people’s
projections onto my paintings often lead them to draw entirely different
interpretations—all valid in their own right, as would be true of
any interpretation of dreams,” explained Jacobi. “It is my
goal that this exhibit will deliver both a left hook and a caress.”
About the Artist
Born in New York, Kathryn Jacobi has spent most of her life in California.
Classically trained, she counts the early Northern European Renaissance
painters Durer, Hans Holbein the Younger and Roger Van der Weyden among
her greatest influences. Jacobi studied painting, drawing, graphics and
photography at California State University, Northridge where she earned
a B.A. in 1978 and an M.A. in 1980.
A prolific artist in many mediums including etching, printmaking, drawing
and watercolor painting, Jacobi has focused her most recent efforts in
oil painting and digital photography. She has shown her work in solo and
group exhibitions throughout the United States and in Canada, Germany,
Denmark, the former Czechoslovakia and Spain. Jacobi’s works of
art belong to the public collections of the Centrum Judaicum (Stiftung
Neue Synogogue) in Berlin, Germany, the San Francisco Cultural and Civic
Center, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Cornell University, the New York
Public Library, the Fresno Art Museum, California State University, Northridge,
the National Watercolor Society and the Skirball Museum among many other
Jacobi has published illustrations in the London Times Literary Supplement,
Westways Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review, among other
publications. Through her own small publishing company, Waxwing Editions,
Jacobi has released two books: “The Bride’s Chamber,”
a recently discovered story by Charles Dickens, and “The Popsicle
Moon” by Sean Stratton, both of which are accompanied by her original