Art Beat: Facing truth through art
Jeanne Fields says making art is her exploration of truth. And as difficult as facing the truth can be, Fields says it’s necessary to bring it to our attention in her paintings. She takes on many social justice issues, especially how humans treat the environment. But it’s not the only approach she takes. Sometimes art is simply an expression of the beauty Fields sees around her.
“As a child, I was very bored,” Fields says. “My mother tried all kinds of ways to distract me on a very hot, Midwestern day. I ended up cutting up paper and making a cornfield, and the time went from 1 to 5 on that steamy afternoon. As I reflect back on my interest in art, that was it: I was compelled to make art.”
From that early beginning, Fields has made a lifetime of creating art. And, at some point, she added messages of social justice into her paintings.
“My art explores beauty along with the difficult issues that impact our environment,” she says. “Issues like plastics and pollution of the planet’s beauty, against the reality of politics. It looks at gun violence and hunger all the while pointing up the innate dignity of people. I hope it inspires a counter of corrective action.”
Exploring realism and abstract painting as well as figurative art, Fields also creates sculpture. Although some topics are simply beauty for the sake of beauty, she has developed a reputation for being an activist through her art. When her message draws criticism, Fields says she does her best to listen and consider if there might be another way to express it —or leave it as is, inviting her viewers to consider the difficult truth of her topics.
Jeanne Fields’ work is on exhibit at the Richland Community Library through January 2024. Fields will also have an open studio on October 20, 2023, at Ninth Wave Studio on Walnut Street in Kalamazoo, from 5 to 8 p.m.
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