JenClare Gawaran is an artist and educator born and raised in Metro Detroit. As an educator, she has taught drawing and design at many colleges and universities, working with young emerging artists. Her work has been shown in numerous galleries across the country including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Hilo, Hawaii and abroad at the Jyvaskyla Art Museum in Finland and the Jerusalem Print Workshop. JenClare’s work has been part of the Salt City Dozen print portfolio at Syracuse University and is in the permanent collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Guangdong Museum of Art in China.
“My work is the result of much personal and internal research about my identity. Having been born and raised in the suburbs of the Midwest, I grew up within the bubble of an ideal and romanticized American childhood. We basically had the green lawn and white picket fence, I was taught all about our Founding Fathers and George Washington admitting to chopping down that cherry tree, and my summers were spent taking family road trips across the United States. Although I knew my family was different than those of my Caucasian friends, I didn’t put much thought into my Filipino background.
I work with the printmaking process because I find the medium to be the most fluid with my thought and creative processes. The fact that one can almost infinitely recreate the same image in printmaking is also interesting to me. As a suburban child, I was surrounded by the same duplicated houses in my neighborhood. Through serigraph, chine-collé, collage and drawing, I layer and combine visual cues and symbolism of cultural identity and gender expectations to create autobiographical work. Images of Filipino textile patterns and trinkets, combined with stereotypical symbols of Filipino, Asian and American culture, work together to create scenes that either stem from my childhood memories or reflect how I think I fit into and between these cultures and identities.”