Mack-Watkins, Jennifer (Vanity II)
Mack-Watkins, Jennifer (Vanity II)
"Vanity II" by Jennifer Mack-Watkins
22 x 26 inches, Mokuhanga/Silkscreen on paper, limited edition of 2/11 --unframed
My current body of work depicts how the stages of womanhood are viewed based on past and present assumptions of the domesticated role of the woman. References to the era of 1950’s and 1960’s are used to document how media and popular culture flood us with stereotypical or idealistic perceptions in advertisements to sell products. I am interested in investigating the complexities of being a woman, beauty, relationships, body image, power, and struggle. This subject is the main component of an ongoing body of work that deals with how society defines what femininity is based on a predefined pattern.
Jennifer Mack-Watkins is a contemporary visual artist whose primary studio practice entails silkscreen, Japanese woodblock and other forms of printmaking techniques. Her work investigates the societal constructs that can leave women feeling isolated and she explores definitions of femininity based on widely-held notions of beauty and cultural norms. Her artistic aesthetic draws from a confluence of reference points, most of which include her Mokuhanga printmaking techniques and her culturally rich southern roots. In 2015 Jennifer was selected to participate in the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory artist-in-residence program in Yamanashi, Japan and was a Joan Mitchell Foundation 2015 Emerging Artist nominee. In the summer of 2021, Jennifer's work was featured in The New York Times, Vogue, Art and Object, Pressing Matters, Savannah Magazine, Connect Savannah, Savannah Morning News, and Essence. She is also the recipient of "The Elizabeth Catlett Printmaking Award" presented by Hampton University Museum. Mack-Watkins is also a Penland School of Crafts Distinguished Fellow Resident Artist , Savannah Magazine one of 6 Artists to Collect 2023,The Highlights Foundation Floyd Cooper Scholarship Recipient, Schomberg Literary Festival Featured Artist, Haystack School of Crafts Retreat Invited Participant , received a grant from the National Black Arts Foundation in 2022 ,and is a featured artist in the Schomburg Literary Festival in 2022.
In You Gotta Mr. Pierce, her first illustrated book published by Kokila Random House, she created illustrations using the Mokuhanga printmaking technique in addition to mixed media collage. While illustrating this book she combines personal memories of growing up in her mother's salon along with film, photographs and archival research on Elijah Pierce's life to imagine his shop. Highlights Foundation has also awarded Mack-Watkins the 2023 Floyd Cooper Scholarship. She was a featured artist for the American Library Association Conference in Chicago 2023 with Random House and Kokila.
Institutional acquisitions include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library, Library of Congress, Hood Museum of Art, Zimmerli Museum, Agnes Scott College, The Getty Library, Newark Public Library, and Clark Atlanta University. Her work is also held in the permanent collections of ABC Studios and many other private art collections. Jennifer has presented her work in the Rush Arts Gallery 20th Anniversary Exhibition and Print Portfolio that was exhibited in New York City, and at Miami SCOPE and PRIZM art fairs.
Jennifer holds a BA in studio arts from Morris Brown College, a MAT from Tufts University, and a MFA in Printmaking from Pratt Institute. She is a native of Charleston, South Carolina and currently lives and works in Georgia.
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