Although I had drawn all my life, I didn’t embrace my passion to paint until 2001. I grew up in one of the countless suburbs of New Jersey in between the Holland Tunnel and the Jersey Shore which spawned my affection and curiosity for all things carnivalesque. I studied behavioral neuroscience at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. After graduation, I worked my way out west to Seattle after a brief stay in Boulder where I found people not afraid to speak their minds, while I worked in a rat lab. In Seattle, I worked serving the mentally ill and developmentally disabled population. From Seattle, I was pulled to Austin to study Latin American sociology at the University of Texas. I attained my Ph.D. in 2001 after conducting anthropological fieldwork on human migration in Chiapas, Mexico in 1999. Although my experience in Mexico was rich, I longed for artistic creativity. In 2002, I quit my full-time job doing social scientific research and threw myself into oil painting and now paint fervently. I have taken art classes at Laguna Gloria Art School, the Austin Fine Arts School and at the Art Students League in Denver. I continue to find inspiration in many innovative painters who include friends both near and far and my husband Jeff whose extraordinary grace on the guitar has taught me that strength lies in subtlety. My greatest achievement is my son Karlo who was born in 2009. I feel incredibly lucky and constantly humbled as I get to see the world through his eyes. I now realize that my time studying the human psyche both psychologically and sociologically must have left its imprint on my brain permanently…because I cannot seem to stray too far from it in my painting.

resume

 

education

2005    May, Art Student League of Denver, Colorado
2003    Austin Fine Arts School, Austin, TX
2002    Laguna Gloria Art School, Austin, TX
2001    University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D. in sociology
1992    Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, B.A. in behavioral neuroscience

selected exhibitions

2014

  • March, Georgetown Art Center, Texas: "Tomfoolery: Humor in Art" group exhibition
  • March, UP Collective, Austin, TX: "Nude Show" juried exhibition

2013

  • November, East Austin Studio Tour, Austin, TX
  • September, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA: Women Painting Women exhibition
  • May, Eleanor Ettinger Gallery, New York: two-person exhibition
  • January, Elliot Fouts Gallery, Sacramento, CA: “About Face” self-portrait group exhibition

2012

  • November, East Austin Studio Tour, Austin, TX
  • October, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE: juried art auction
  • August, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: “100 Degrees” group show
  • July, Bennington Center for the Arts, Vermont: Artists for the New Century exhibition
  • June, Eleanor Ettinger Gallery, New York: self-portrait exhibition
  • March, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: solo exhibition

2011   

  • November, East Austin Studio Tour, Austin, TX
  • October, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE: juried art auction
  • September, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA: Affordable Art Show
  • July, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: “Rivers” group show

2010

  • December, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA: group show
  • November, East Austin Studio Tour, Austin, TX
  • November, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC: juried show “Women Painting Women”
  • October, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE: juried art auction
  • September, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA: Drawing exhibit
  • August, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: Anniversary group show
  • March, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: solo exhibition

2009    

  • November, East Austin Studio Tour, Austin, TX
  • October, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA: Artists’ Choice Show
  • October, Bass Concert Music Hall, Austin, TX: solo show
  • September, Austin, TX: Austin Visual Arts Association: juried exhibition
  • July, Showings Fine Art Gallery, Denver, CO: curated Women Artists’ Show
  • January, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: “A Grand Affair” group show

2008    

  • December, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: group show
  • November, East Austin Studio Tour, Austin, TX
  • October, Austin Visual Arts Association, Austin, TX: juried life drawing show
  • October, USArtist’s Show, Philadelphia, PA: invited by the Principle Gallery
  • May, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: Solo Painter show
  • January, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: “A Grand Affair,” group exhibition

2007    

  • December, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA: “Small Works Show,” group exhibition
  • December, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: “Alice in Wonderland,” group exhibition
  • November, Davis Gallery, Austin, TX: group exhibition
  • June-July, Winston-Wachter Gallery, Seattle, WA: group exhibition
  • April, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX: Solo Painter show

2006

  • December, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA: “Small Works Show,” group exhibition
  • November, Art Amici Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: East Austin Studio Tour, group exhibition
  • November, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA: “The Artist’s Process,” group exhibition
  • September, Art in Embassy Program, Republic of Cyprus: Painting selected to be part of program
  • September, Texas Freedom Network Art Auction, silent art auction benefit
  • August, Galerie Dalray, New Orleans, LA: group exhibition
  • July, Hespe Gallery, San Francisco, CA: group figurative exhibition
  • July, Bella Creo Fine Art Gallery, Boerne, TX: group exhibition
  • April, F8 Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: two-painter/two-photographer show
  • March, Austin Visual Arts Association: juried figurative art exhibition

2005

  • November, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA: group exhibition
  • November, Art Amici Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: East Austin Studio Tour, group exhibition
  • April, F8 Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: solo painter exhibition

2004    

  • November, Art Amici Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: East Austin Studio Tour, group exhibition
  • November, F8 Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: “Art Wide Shut,” group show
  • October, Texas Hill Country Invitational Art Show, Boerne, TX: a featured artist
  • September, Women and their Work Gallery, Austin, TX: “Red Hot Red Dot”, art show & silent auction
  • August, Art Amici Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: “Home Is Where the Art Is,” organizer & participant
  • August, F8 Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: “Retro Show” group exhibition
  • July, Spirit Echoes Inc. Fine Arts Festival, Austin, TX: juried show
  • June, F8 Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: two-painter exhibition, sold-out show
  • April, Guerrilla Gallery Ladyfest Art Show, Austin, TX: juried art exhibition
  • April, Art Amici Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: East Austin Studio Tour, group exhibition
  • April, Austin Fine Arts Festival, Austin, TX: displayed artwork & gave painting portrait demos
  • January, Zandoozi Gallery, Austin, TX: solo exhibition

2003

  •  December, Art Amici Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: “Salon des RefusŽs,” group exhibition
  •  November, Art Amici Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: East Austin Studio Tour, group exhibition
  •  November, Texas Freedom Network Art Auction, silent art auction benefit
  •  April, Blue Genie Art Industries, Austin, TX: “Spring Art Show,” group exhibition

published

The Austin Review, May 2014, Cover artist and interview
Poets and Artists, May 2014, "Raw Beauty" curated by Sergio Lopez
American Art Collector, May, 2013, “Jennifer Balkan & John McCarthy: Disguises and Disappearances”
Sacramento Bee, January, 2013, “About Face” self-portrait show at the Elliot Fouts Gallery”
Austin Chronicle, January, 2013, “Top Ten from Visual Art in 2012
Tribeza, September, 2013, featured artist

Austin Chronicle, March, 2012, “Jennifer Balkan: Peep Holes”
American Art Collector, March, 2012, “Peep Holes: Jennifer Balkan”
Austin Chronicle, November, 2010, “East Austin Studio Tour”
American Art Collector, November, 2010, “Women Painting Women”
Austin Visual Arts Awards, 2009, nominated for Artist of the Year in 2-Dimensional Art
Austin Chronicle, November, 2008, “Welcome to My Studio”
Austin Woman, September, 2008, “Keep Austin Artistic: Jennifer Balkan, Painter”
Austin Chronicle, May, 2008, “Jennifer Balkan: Hidden Meaning”
Southwest Art, May, 2008, “Seriously Funny: six artists view life with imagination and wit”
Falls Church News, January, 2008, review published
New American Paintings, October, 2007, artwork published
Austin Chronicle, May, 2007, “Jennifer Balkan: Her New Work”
Farfelu Magazine, Summer 2006, artwork published
Edifice Wrecked, Spring, 2006, artwork and interview published
Southwest Art Magazine, December 2005, “Artist to Watch”
West Austin News, May 2005
Southwest Art, December 2004
Austin Monthly, October 2004, “Jennifer Balkan, Painting With a Passion”
Austin American Statesman Xlent, April, July 2004
Austin Chronicle, February 2004, January 2004

teaching experience

2014    Two portrait workshops at Georgetown Art Center, private classes in studio; private group studio
            classes, figure painting and portraiture instruction
2013    Private group studio classes, figure painting and portraiture instruction
2012    Private group studio classes, figure painting
2011    Private group studio classes, figure painting
2009    Private group studio classes, figure painting
2008    Private group studio classes, figure painting and portraiture instruction
2007    Private group studio classes, figure painting and still-life instruction
2007    Austin Waldorf School, 12th Grade oil painting and drawing self-portraiture instructor
2006    Austin Waldorf School, 11th Grade oil painting and drawing still-life instructor
2006    Sculpture Academy of Austin, figurative painting educator
2005    Sculpture Academy of Austin, figurative drawing
2004    Austin Fine Arts Festival, gave portrait demonstrations

presentations & radio

2012    KLRU, Austin, TX: interviewed for "Generous Art" project
2008    90.5 KUT Radio, Austin, TX: interviewed for “Arts Eclectic” show
2008    91.7 KOOP Radio, Austin, TX: interviewed for “Visual Aid” show
2008    University of Texas, Austin, TX: guest instructor for figure painting class in Theatre Department
2006    Women and their Work Gallery, Austin, TX: “Show and Tell Digital Slide Jam,” discussed artwork
2004    f8 Fine Art Gallery, Austin, TX: “Lunch Brake for Art,” discussed perspective and technique

curator/juror experience

2012    Selected participants and finalists for Georgetown Art Hop Competition
2006    Judged finalists for Rising Star program from Blackland Prairie Elementary School in Round Rock, TX
2004    Women Who Paint Women, Little City Coffeehouse, Austin, curator & participant of 6-woman show