‘Looking Up, Branching Out’ featuring Jana Charl

Our featured artist for May and June 2024 will be Jana Charl.

For the months of May and June 2024, Art Adventure is featuring Jana Charl. Opening night with Artist Talk is 5:30-7pm on Thursday, May 2nd 2024.

Exhibition dates: May 2nd-June 29th at Art Adventure Gallery, 185 SW 5th Street in Madras. See you there!

My solo exhibition “Looking Up, Branching Out” will feature over 30 mixed media and acrylic paintings, giclées (prints) on photo paper and canvas, and a video installation. 

Growing up as an avid tree climber, I was fascinated with the patterns and strengths of branches, looking for routes to climb and descend. On an elementary school field trip, my father loaned me a manual camera with black and white film. Every photo I took was of climbable trees. As an artist, I’m intrigued by the infinite possibilities of shapes and forms the branches create. 

Seeking to draw attention to sustainability and conservation issues, my body of work includes materials destined for dumps sites, such as wood and window frames from Hay Creek Ranch; plastic mesh from produce bags; and burlap from coffee bean bags. From an aesthetic point of view, I’m also fascinated by the textures and colors of salvaged items. Plastics maintain their vibrant colors, metals rust, paint chips and fades, and textiles unravel. I’m deeply engaged in the art-making activity of assembling and reconfiguring my discoveries.

Often I treat the canvas as a textile; cutting, sewing, and embroidering on it. I’ve also treated it like paper, drawing on it and cutting out forms that I glue onto stretched canvas. I love the process of mixing pigments and exploring color, sometimes not thoroughly blending colors before applying them to surfaces and then continuing to manipulate the colors with brushes, palette knives, and my fingers.

I hope that “Looking Up, Branching Out” will resonate with our diverse community members, taking place at a gallery open to ALL, rekindling our childhood awe of nature and reimagining the uses of our Central Oregon resources.

Jana Charl

Some featured artwork