University News

Western New England University Art Exhibit

Published: April 06, 2016 | Categories: All News, Arts and Sciences

“Mad Dog, Wood & Wax”

Artist: Patricia Jenks
Artist Patricia Jenks

The Western New England University Art Gallery will be hosting “Mad Dog, Wood & Wax,” an exhibit by Mixed Media Artist & Painter Patricia Jenks, from March 6 – April 14. An opening reception will take place on Sunday, March 6 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The gallery is located in the St. Germain Campus Center, where Jenks will offer insight into her work during a Gallery Talk on Thursday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m.

Jenks’ newest body of work in this exhibition is 3D and made with encaustic (hot beeswax). Natural found objects are dipped in and embedded in the hot wax and mounted on a wood panel. The resulting pieces explore how the natural world reflects our innermost needs, wishes, and desires. Combinations of elements intuitively form that are both stimulating and new but also reminiscent of older more primal forms. Using a mandala format with its universal spiritual significance of wholeness is a recurring image in Jenks’ work.

Art piece: Waxus Spinosus Carona“Exhibiting my artwork is one of the joys of creating it,” says artist and educator Patricia Jenks. It is very important for artists to get their work out there for other people to see. Having venues like college art galleries, which serve as a teaching tool as well as a viewing space for art, brings a vigorous visual experience to campus communities. Art has always been the mirror of civilizations, both past and present, and each artist has a part to play in creating that magnificent mosaic.

Also included in this exhibition are several pieces from Jenks’ post-graduate years, which are made from bent ash wood modules. Painted in black and white, they are combined to create larger, more complex 3D pieces which can be convex, concave, or spread across a wall space to offer different perspectives on common themes.

A third body of Jenks’ work, paintings and works on paper created over a 15-year span, highlights the character of “Mad Dog.” An “everyman” persona, “Mad Dog” embodies familiar life experiences in this mysterious journey we all share. As these works were very popular when created, those shown are all from private collections.

Currently living in Suffield, CT, Jenks has a studio at the Indian Orchard Mill in Springfield, MA. She received her BFA from UNC at Chapel Hill and her MFA from Clemson University’s College of Art & Architecture. A working artist since 1972, Jenks’ artwork has been exhibited and collected in the Southeast, the Northeast, the West Coast, and Canada. She has taught art courses in NC, SC, Montreal, ME, and MA, and has facilitated many workshops designed to help people create art simply from their heart. Jenks is curator of the Art Gallery and taught various studio art courses at the University.

General Art Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For information and directions to the gallery visit or call the University at 413-782-1567.