An artist and writer; I was born in California, but have lived quite a few different places since then. I graduated from Belhaven University with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art and a a minor in Creative Writing. Shortly after that I moved to Japan for six months as an artist-in-residence with Community Arts Tokyo. I currently live in Jackson, MS, teach art at Jackson Academy, and am enrolled in a low-residency MFA program at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Words affect me in powerful ways, and in much of my work I seek to create an aesthetic experience that parallels and amplifies the impressions stimulated by language. I often use the term “illumination” to describe the conceptual goals of my work. “Illumination” evokes both the past tradition of illuminated manuscripts and the idea of clarification or enlightenment–connotations which align with my interest in expanding on the experience of literary text.
My main strategy of art-making is drawing with graphite and ink (which has come to mean all kinds of liquid materials including traditional sumi, coffee, tea, and watercolor). Conceptually, I appreciate using media and tools connected to the writing process in order to create images that expand the experience of reading into the realm of the visual. Aesthetically, my drawings are carefully designed and rendered, and they explore formal concerns in order to create images that have a sense of austerity, power, and grandeur. Formally, I frequently explore notions of contrast between flatness and depth, pattern and texture, boldness and subtlety, locus and emptiness, orb and grid. Ultimately, I am interested in poetic response to word-generated experience and see formal language as one path to that end.
Many of my drawings are a direct response to literary experience, as is the case with Nimrod’s Blueprint, and Babel. Others make use of literary references to enfold complexity into more personal responses, as is the case with Mist, Ash, Dust and O Miserable Cities of Designing Men.
In short, through formal questioning I seek to develop a visual vocabulary which I deploy in calculated structures as a form of poetic response to word-based experience.
SOLO and JOINT EXHIBITIONS:
- Jacob Rowan at Cups in the Quarter. Cups in the Quarter, Jackson, MS. 2017
- The Tower, the Desert, and Other Images. Deep South Pops Gallery, Jackson, MS. 2016
- The Aesthetic of Illumination. Pearl River Glass Studio Gallery, Jackson, MS. 2015
- Control and Release joint show with Bryan Fulton. Lisette’s Gallery, Jackson, MS. 2012
- ROTHKO REFRACTIONS, New Stage Theater, Jackson, MS. 2016
- Jackson Academy Faculty Art Show, Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center, Jackson, MS. 2016
- Alumni Invitational. Bitsy Irby Gallery. Jackson MS. Juried. 2015
- 3rd Annual Cedars Juried Show. The Cedars. Jackson, MS. Juried. 2014
- Junior Olympics Art Show. Jackson Convention Center. Jackson, MS. 2014
- Composition, an Exhibition by the Jackson Art Movement. Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center. Jackson, MS. 2013
- CityScape. Light, Space, and Time Online Gallery. Juried. 2013
- Pop-up gallery at Asahi Hall. Tokyo, Japan. 2013
- Pop-up gallery at Cafe Haus. Tokyo, Japan. 2013
- The Collective, a Senior Art Exhibition. Arts Center of Mississippi. Jackson, MS. Juried. 2012
- Mississippi Collegiate Arts Competition. Jackson, MS. Juried. 2012
- Annual Student Show. Bitsy Irby Gallery. Jackson, MS. Juried. 2012
- Annual Student Show. Bitsy Irby Gallery. Jackson, MS. Juried. 2011
- Annual Student Show. Bitsy Irby Gallery. Jackson, MS. Juried. 2010
PUBLICATIONS, REVIEWS, and ARTICLES:
- “Jacob Rowan” Interview in 365 Artists/365 Days, A Frank Juarez Gallery and Greymatter Gallery Collaborative Project. October, 2015
- Art as Illumination [https://artasillumination.wordpress.com]. Blog featuring interviews, reviews, artwork, and essays. 2013–Present
- Mississippi Aesthetic, Issue 2, contributing artist. 2013
- Anamnesis Artwork published in Curator Magazine, an online arts and culture journal, October, 2013
- The Brogue, Volume 12.1, contributing artist and writer. 2013
- “Belhaven University Artists Display Excellent Work.” Review of senior exhibition in Mississippi Museum of Art blog. March, 2012
- "Belhaven Art Studios.” Review by Joe Ellis in The Clarion-Ledger. February, 2012
- “Fruits of Education,” “Lauging All Over Again,” and “Looking Again.” Articles published in the Culture section of the Jackson Free Press. May, 2012
- The Brogue, Volume 10, contributing artist and writer. 2012
RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE:
- Art Teacher at Jackson Academy: November 2013—Present. Jackson, MS (Created and implemented 7th-9th grade art curriculum. Average of 70-100 students).
- Organizer of Jackson Art Movement: November 2014—Present. Jackson, MS (Connected Jackson based artists, created and led monthly discussion groups. Organized group critiques, exhibitions, and other events).
- Private Art Tutor: January 2015—Present. Jackson, MS (Private drawing lessons for gifted students).
- Artist in Residence with Community Arts Tokyo: January—July 2013. Tokyo, Japan (Exhibited art, curated pop-up galleries, organized art events, and led discussion groups).
- Gallery Assistant at View Gallery: June—December 2012. Jackson, MS (Supervised gallery in owner's absence, designed booklet of artists’ statements, and discussed pieces with clients).
- Receptionist at Mississippi Museum of Art: August—December 2012. Jackson, MS (Sold tickets and answered questions about temporary exhibitions).
- Art Editor for The Brogue (The literary journal of Belhaven University): August 2011—August 2012. Jackson, MS (Selected visual art to be included in publication and assisted in editing written submissions).
- Freelance Writer for the Art and Culture section of the Jackson Free Press: February—March 2012. Jackson, MS. (Wrote art and cultural reviews as needed).
- Preparator’s Assistant at Mississippi Museum of Art: February 2012. Jackson, MS (Assisted in the installation of temporary exhibit).
- Intern at Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Illustration Collection for the Division of Fishes: May—July 2011. Silver Springs, MD (Assisted in the conservation of scientific illustrations and database management).
- Graphic design for various clients including wedding invitations and programs, logo design, CD packaging and booklet, fliers, posters, and shirt design. 2011—Present
- Designed and constructed two backdrops for tutorial school program. 2012
- Numerous house drawings for clients. 2011
- Construction Assistant for Aftermath, a sculptural installation by H.C. Porter. 2010
- HEADWAE Award: Belhaven University, March 2012
- Who’s Who Among Students in America: March 2012
- President’s List and Dean’s List: Belhaven University, 2008-2012
- Art Scholarship: Belhaven University, 2008-2012
- Academic Scholarship: Belhaven University, 2008-2012
- B.A. in Art with a minor in Creative Writing from Belhaven University: Jackson, MS, May 2012
- Canidate for M.F.A. in Studio Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art: Baltimore, MD, June 2016–Present