Jan Schnurr

Operation Smile

Jan Schnurr is a mid-career artist in Napa Valley who explores both natural and man-made forms while experimenting with a variety of media. She earned a BA and MFA from California State University in Sacramento, CA, and received teaching certification from the University of California in Berkeley, CA, and Chapman University in Fairfield, CA. With teaching experience spanning over two decades, Jan has taught fine art to elementary as well as high school students both in the private and public sector. She strives to instill an appreciation of art in her students, while helping them find their own creative voices.
Jan’s artwork has been exhibited at the Napa Valley Museum, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, and Haggin Museum in Stockton, CA, and is included in the collections of Kaiser Permanente and California State University in Sacramento, CA. Exhibiting in juried gallery and museum exhibitions, her artwork has won recognition through numerous awards.
A lifetime friend of hers said, “Your paintings are like looking into a delicate, very disciplined kaleidoscope.” She felt she understood and appreciated her intentions. Her art explores the external/internal and spiritual/physical artistry that surrounds us in our everyday lives. She is interested in the notion of beauty from color through natural and man-made patterns. Throughout her life, influences in her art have come from nature through gardens, parks, coastal regions and the celestial sky, as well as from fabrics, sewing patterns, wallpapers, prismatic stained glass and church windows. In her recent works, she employs an array of cultural patterns and symbolic circles layered to create delicate forms in each piece. These works evoke a sense of illusion of space and movement alluding to a spiritual sense, a presence, beckoning the viewer to look closer. Her process involves pastel drawing as well as paint techniques of pouring, washing, layering, rusting and staining with teas. She abandons the paintbrush to create watermarks, stains, and floating effects to allow for balance of control and chance. Embracing the concept of wabi-sabi, her art celebrates the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

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