Thursday, June 26

Jennifer Dennis Potter

The most important thing to me about my work is that it be authentic. It wasn't until college that I discovered that art was a wonderful way to say things that couldn't easily be said with words. I majored in painting at Binghamton University and learned from my professor, Angelo Ippolito (an Abstract Expressionist) that artists needed not only to "work", but also to "play". In other words, if you take your work and especially yourself too seriously, you take all of the life out of the artwork.

After Binghamton, I lived in Ithaca and worked with young children, teaching. I enjoyed watching how they percieve the world, their tenderness and sense of fun.

From Ithaca, I moved to Maine and did an intensive six-month photography program at the Maine Photographic Workshops. One of my projects was working with a family and doing photographs of their children, playing and discovering their world.

Returning to Buffalo from Maine, I worked as an assistant to photographers and then started to do some portraits and weddings on my own. Much of that work fell by the wayside when I got married and had my own children because I wanted to give most of my time and energy to teaching and nurturing them. Recently, I went back to school and got my MLS degree (Master of Library Science) and work at an academic library part-time.

I missed making artwork and having some time to do it, so I began taking pictures and painting again. The Toy Series that is my most recent group of photographs, stems from my experience of being with children every day. I love their innocence and the serious quality of their play.

Collage is something I did quite a bit of in college and began again recently as part of a group on Etsy (a website where I sell work). It allows you to work from the subconscious and, rather than starting from an idea, start by finding images and adding and subtracting them, drawing or painting into it until it works well. I love teaching collage to kids because even those who don't think they are able to do art well can dive in and enjoy creating. They can allow themselves to play and see what great things they might come up with.

On Sunday, July 13th Jennifer will be selling her photography, paintings and collages at the Buffalo Indie Market for the first time. She will also run an interactive Collage Workshop along with Mary of Ry Stephens Design. Kids and adults can sit down and create a picture that represents them using magazine clippings, colored textured papers, found objects & pen and ink with the help and guidance of Jennifer and Mary. Stop in to experience a beautiful art form that has been used for centuries.

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