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Happy New Year and 2020 year in review

Happy New Year! 2021 is off to a good start… I’ve had a chance to get a couple of rides and runs in, and I’m ready to get this party started.

2020 was my second year of running a small business, and while this had its challenges, it turned out to be a good year for me and my family. Thank you so much for your support during the last year. Thank you for reading my writing, following me on Facebook and Instagram, sending me kind messages, buying my work, and sharing my work with your friends and family… all of it helps keep me motivated and supports my artistic practice. Here are some of the things your support made possible in 2020:

My work was selected to be shown in the Prism small group exhibition at Gallery C3 in Charlotte  at the beginning of the year.

I made some wellness videos in the spring. When COVID hit the US and lockdowns started, I wanted to share ways to relax and re-center yourself with yoga, drawing and watercolor.

Since I wasn’t able to teach in person, I created my first online course Little Watercolor Square. I learned a lot about the process and really enjoyed it. Thankfully I ended up doing more online teaching and coaching this year, and that has allowed me to reach more people and help more artists improve their skills and find their voices.

ArtPop Street gallery awarded me a billboard with my work on it! Thank you ArtPop Street Gallery, Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, and Lamar Advertising for making this possible.

I won a placement of my work at PTI airport for a year starting in July. This led to my first five-figure sale of a single painting.

Innovation Quarter commissioned me to paint a mural along the Long Branch trail in Winston-Salem this summer. That mural was featured on the front page of the Winston-Salem Journal and I was interviewed about the painting process with WXLV, our local abc station.

The podcast Terrific Tips for Business invited me on for a conversation about running a business as an artist amidst a year of craziness.

My solo exhibition Hold us in the light opened at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in November, featuring paintings I made this year. You can see it till mid February.

I donated a portion of my sales to Yadkin Riverkeeper, Second Harvest Food bank and the NAACP. Teaming up with local nonprofits and being able to help in a meaningful way has been one of my favorite parts of running my own business.

Thank you for helping make all of this possible! Let’s make 2021 a great year.

Solo exhibit at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art

Jessica Singerman - hold us in the light

On November 6th 2020, my newest solo show “Hold us in the light” opens at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, NC. Read on to find out about the work in this exhibition.

There will be free timed entry for this opening. Reserve your time slot here.
Note, my exhibit coincides with the “Home” exhibit, so the reservation link will take you to that show’s reservation page.  

From Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art:

Join us for an exhibition of intimate, responsive work by Jessica Singerman. In a significant departure from her work that celebrates nature, color and light in the landscape and the passing of time, Singerman embraces personal questions around her work and how it relates to the pressing societal issues of today.

Artist Statement:

At the end of spring 2020 when there was a swelling of anger and sadness amidst protests in the US, I wondered what – as an artist – I should be doing in response to what was happening around me. In times of turmoil, I have often questioned the validity of my work, and with practice I’ve learned that it is in those challenging times that the work of an artist becomes especially important, both for the artist and for the audience. However as a white artist, I was unsure of what was appropriate for the direction of my work. It seemed disingenuous to make politically charged paintings when my current body of work dealt with an entirely different subject matter. How could I make work that was culturally relevant yet stayed true to the artistic concerns I’ve pursued for years?

The morning of June 1st I made drawings of a table and chairs in our screened-in porch, a nod to some Richard Diebenkorn paintings of a single chair in an interior. Later that day in the studio, I decided to make a painting using one of those drawings as a reference. This painting was quiet and contemplative. I made another painting and another, all evocative of human presence, and each one a play of color and geometry and composition. In these paintings, through the careful arrangement of shapes and color, I envision creating space for conversations – hopefully the kind of exchanges that bring real profound understanding. Is this too much to want for my work? Maybe, but making art is in itself a hopeful act, and so it helps me feel optimistic.

Get a preview of the work in this studio visit.

Interview with Terrific Tips for Business is live!

Artist Jessica Singerman and CJ Howard interview

Last week artist CJ Howard and I had a great conversation about running a business as an artist during these crazy times. Listen or watch for insights on what it’s like to make a living as an artist and for plenty of tips for up and coming artists.

Watch the video below.

Listen to the podcast on any platform. Find all the links here.

Enjoy!

Looking for art & creativity coaching? Learn about what we can do together here.

Art at work helps boost business

“The Field You Think You Own” in a shared workspace. Click this image to find it in the shop.

As if we needed more reasons to own art….

It has actually been scientifically proven that having original art in workspaces boosts productivity, increases creativity and reduces stress in addition to a host of other benefits. So in addition to making your workspace look amazing, artwork will actually help you run a better – arguably more profitable business.

Here are a few ways this works:

Creativity begets creativity

Does it seem counterintuitive to spend money on something that could potentially distract a worker’s attention? Well the truth is that because art makes for a generally more upbeat space, it helps make happier workers, who are therefore more productive. Deutsche Bank owns the biggest collection of corporate art in the world and even hosts artist talks so their staff can engage with artists. This opens up broader views into socio-political aesthetics and eventually helping generate new ideas that can be used with clients. In other words creativity begets creativity.

Given the automatization of well, everything, creativity will soon be our most important asset as humans. It’s one of the things that differentiates us from AI right?

Where to install corporate art?

In a lobby, art makes a statement and sets the tone for everyone who enters the building. In boardrooms or other meeting areas, artwork can help break the ice or stimulate ideas and conversation.

Exhibiting art in the work place helps shape the branding and character of a company for those who work within the company, partners and prospective clients. Art improves the culture in a shared space by creating an optimistic and inspiring environment.

Tax Benefits

In some cases, original artwork can be considered “furnishings” and can therefore be tax deductible. I would recommend talking to your CPA to check this in your region though because I’m no expert.

Art Leasing

If your company is looking to support local living artists, but not in a position to buy original artwork, then leasing art may be a good option. In this scenario, art is rented for a monthly fee, allowing you to try some artwork for size or to change the look of the office. Learn more about renting art from me here.

I love these concepts – not just because I’m an artist – but because I think high quality art should be accessible to as many people as possible. Not only does it add beauty, but it inspires new ways of thinking and ways to engage with others.

What do you think about art in the work place? Let me know! Email or call me at (336) 283-0185. I’d love to hear from you!

References:

Forbes

The Guardian

University of Exeter

Interview with WXLV abc45

A couple weeks ago I chatted with Carol Andrews, station host at WXLV abc45, about my mural project along the Longbranch trail in Winston-Salem, NC. We talked about how the project came about with Innovation Quarter and what it was like painting outdoors along the trail. The interview just went live, and you can watch it HERE on the station site.

Thank you to Carol Andrews and Lori Bates for the opportunity and for their excellent work on this story!

 

What’s in a name?

People often ask me about my painting titles, “how do I come up with them?”or “what do they mean?”
Well I have a sort of system for titling works that don’t have an obvious name (unlike my installation Paper Mountain that was named just what it was). I keep a little notebook for title ideas. When I need to title a painting, I look through the notebook for inspiration. If none of the ideas feel right for the work, my ritual is to pull out a stack of Mary Oliver poetry books and to read until I notice words or snippets that resonate with me. I write them down and then riff off those or combine them to make my new titles. In the end I pick titles that I hope will invite curiosity, thinking and dreaming.

Below you’ll see “Among the weeds and other blossoming things,” one painting that I named using some Mary Oliver poetry and my little book of ideas. This painting is 40×30 inches, oil and acrylic on canvas, and available from my shop where you’ll find other paintings with names that are hopefully as evocative.

Among the Weeds and Other Blossoming Things, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

Winston Salem Journal Features Long Branch Mural

I came home from a bike ride Sunday morning to find a lovely feature on my newest mural in the Winston Salem Journal. Thank you Lynn Felder for the interview and Walt Unks for the photography and WS Journal for the feature! Scroll down to read the interview or see it on the Journal website.

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August 15, 2020 – On a bright August day with a blue sky and puffy clouds overhead, Jessica Singerman was working close to the ground, lettering her signature onto the lower right-hand corner of a large, outdoor painting – the traditional spot for artists to sign their work.

Singerman, an avid painter and nature lover, was putting the finishing touches on a 50-foot long mural on a retaining wall that borders the Long Branch Trail. The trail, which was opened in 2018, runs from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, through the Innovation Quarter and under Business 40 to Salem Creek Greenway.

Making a painting on a biking-hiking-walking path let her combine several of her passions.

“For me, the project was 100% aligned with what I believe in and love,” Singerman said. “Making the painting along the path felt perfect to me, because people who bike and run and walk can enjoy it. It really felt aligned with the things I care about.

“Going into the outdoors has always been like coming home to me. I moved around a lot as a kid, and I often felt like an outsider. Now being outside — or looking at photos of the outside — serves as fodder for my work and feeds my work as an artist.”

Artist adventurer

Singerman’s mother is French, and her father was a French professor at Davidson College, so she grew up going back and forth between the two countries. She variously lived in Montpelier, Tours in the Loire Valley, and in suburbs of Paris.

“My father taught French, French culture and French cinema,” Singerman said. “The faculty at Davidson would take turns directing the Junior Year Abroad program. My husband and I speak French at home, so our son is able to have a relationship with my mother’s side of the family who still live in France.”

She and husband, Tim Bowman, who works in the School of Filmmaking at UNC School of the Arts, have a son, 7. Her interest in cycling and art developed simultaneously. She’s also a runner, took ballet, was a modern dancer and a yoga teacher.

“I rode to get around as a kid in Davidson,” Singerman said. “And I got more into it in graduate school — road biking, racing, cycle cross. I started running as a kid.”

She has had many peak biking experiences, starting with touring France for the first time in 2003: “(It was) the hottest summer on record. Then I worked for Trek Travel for a while. I guided trips for them all over the world and managed different destinations.”

Singerman is president of the Piedmont Flyers, a local bicycling club, but they are inactive now because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“As a kid, I was always drawing,” Singerman said, but a life-drawing class when she was 15 at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours made her begin to take her art more seriously.

Singerman received her Masters of Fine Arts in 2004 from the University of Delaware. Her watercolors are the subject of a book published in 2017, “Little Watercolor Squares,” and her award-winning paintings and drawings are exhibited and collected internationally.

After graduate school, she said she struggled to find her footing as an artist. She taught for a while. In Australia for her husband’s work, she kept her art supplies in a cardboard box and would unpack it and work a little every day.

Back in the states in 2013, she and Bowman moved into a home with a garage that was at her disposal. She began a steady practice of working daily and has been at it ever since.

“Having my son was big turning point,” she said. “I had an about-face and realized that if I didn’t do my work every day, I would lose myself in motherhood, so having a baby at 32 re-focused me.”

Singerman works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, drawing media, mixed media and video. “For me, it’s about the idea, and if it makes sense to use other media, that’s what I’ll do.”

She also coaches other artists.
“I feel strongly about my work, and coaching is a way to give back,” she said. “Many of us are having to juggle life and an art form, and I like being able to show that it’s possible — keeping up your creative practice, whether it’s carving out time for it or dedicating your day. … It’s difficult but possible.”

Mural connection

Lindsey Schwab, director of community relations for the Innovation Quarter, was part of a committee that selected Singerman to create the mural.

“Jessica was chosen because her pieces are fueled by nature and are landscape-driven, and we were really interested in applying that to an urban greenway,” Schwab said. “The impetus to start this project was a desire to create a piece of art on the Long Branch Trail that people could enjoy during this time of COVID-19.

“More and more people are enjoying the outdoors during the pandemic.”

Schwab said that the name of the piece is “Winston Strong.”

“The Long Branch Trail is such a resource for our community,” she said. “And Jessica’s mural is an example of the connectivity that the trail brings to the community.

“I love that it incorporates all the different elements that you can see from the trail — Pilot Mountain, the Innovation Quarter, and the United Metropolitan Baptist Church.”

Lisa and Bernard Faulk, out walking for exercise on the trail, were happy to see the mural, and were excited that their church was included.

“I like the range of images. The colors are calming. It’s a great location. As I climb that hill, it will probably be motivating,” Lisa Faulk said, laughing. “We walk Winston-Salem, here some days, some days at Reynolda and at Meadowlark.”

Singerman said that she is pleased to have done a project that contains both representational work and abstraction and combines her twin passions for art and the outdoors.

“It feels good to make something that can be seen by everyone,” she said. “Art is for everybody.”

Long Branch Trail mural in Winston Salem, NC

Last week I completed a mural along the Long Branch trail in Winston-Salem, NC. It was a real pleasure to paint outdoors with passing runners, walkers and cyclists giving me words of encouragement and approval.

The mural is 50-feet long and varies in height from 6’2″ to 7’6″. The project was commissioned by Innovation Quarter.

Know someone looking for a mural artist to paint something BIG? Send them here.

Long Branch Trail Mural in Winston-Salem, NC
detail of hand lettering on mural 
Jessica Singerman painting a mural along the Long Branch trail in Winston-Salem, NC.

ArtPop Billboard is up!

My billboard is up!
Conveniently, the billboard is located off of Route 52 at exit 112, so for my Triad friends, you can go hiking at Pilot Mountain, then see my billboard inspired by that very mountain as you drive back toward Winston Salem. The paintings on the billboard are from my exhibit last fall at Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), featuring views inspired by Pilot Mountain State Park.

My artwork is on this billboard because I won one of the ArtPop Street Gallery prizes for the Triad region this year. Thank you ArtPop Street Gallery, Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Lamar Advertising and Adams Outdoor Advertising.

And look at the tiny billboard I won too! This is one of my all time favorite trophies.

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