Westside artist honors women


 Messenger photo by Dedra Cordle

 Westside artist Jesse Chandler will have her paintings and sculptures on display through Oct. 27 at the Jung Haus, 59 W. Third Ave.

There is no denying the direct and profound impact art has had on society and in personal lives.

Art has inspired people to cross the oceans just to see Michelangelo Buonarroti’s masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, or to see his “La Pieta” in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Works such as Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and “Madonna” has driven some to steal those pieces in broad daylight from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. Vincent Van Gogh perfected the use of color and light in his works, and has had many newer artists try to replicate it.

Some may not appreciate art as much as others,, but art’s impact cannot be brushed aside.

One artist making a splash on the Columbus art scene is Jesse Chandler, a native New Yorker who moved to Columbus’ Westside in 2000.

“Art was always a part of what I did,” Chandler said. “I went to art school at Syracuse, but I wasn’t happy just taking painting and drawing courses. I combined them with theater and music. I didn’t realize they could all work together until I was 25.”

The combination of painting and sculpting, as well as the dramatic flair of theater and music can be seen in Chandler’s art work throughout the building of the C.G. Jung Association of Central Ohio, most commonly referred to as the Jung Haus. Her eclectic style will be hung proudly on display until Oct. 27.

“I think it is vibrant,” she said. “There is a lot of life to them, some humor and something spiritual in them. Not necessarily spiritual in a religious sense, but there’s a primordial spirit to them.”

Her artwork on display is infused with the beginnings of life by showing the spirit of women. The title for the show is “Dangerous,” which is a juxtaposition of ideas and assumptions of the female character.

“I’m interested in the essence of what it is to be a female. I think there is an inherent strength to all women and I equate strength with beauty that transcends the stereotype of what it means to be beautiful.”

Her “Bird Houses” display is a metaphor for a safe harbor where women return to “re-group” and gather to fight another day.

Her encaustic remix of Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” superimposed with the face of Marilyn Monroe signifies “the flexible and seemingly fragile figure, but nevertheless a survivor throughout time and space.”

Chandler also pays homage to revolutionists Emma Goldman and Rosa Parks, who were both dubbed “exceedingly dangerous.”

“Rosa Parks is the embodiment of courage and calculating intelligence,” Chandler said. “She has an unbelievable face and hands. When she died, she was still so unbelievably beautiful.”

Her practice of showing women to be strong characters has opened the door to critics naming her a stereotypical feminist.

“It’s necessary for an artist to be vulnerable, to be authentic,” she said.

That line of thinking goes along with how she views Dangerous. “There are ideas about women that may seem subdued, but there is an undercurrent of something that is threatening. There’s the idea that I am here and not going anywhere.”

Her show at the Jung Haus certainly is not going anywhere soon. The opening was on Sept. 8 and runs until Oct. 27, with a second opening scheduled for Oct. 13.

“It’s extremely rare to have a show last that long,” Chandler said. “But I feel really fortunate for it. Anytime you have an audience, it’s a big deal. Having someone actually look at your art is like whipped cream on the sundae.”

The Jung Haus is located at 59 West Third Ave. The gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Chandlers second opening will be Oct. 13, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

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