Featured Artist: Jenny Eggleston
This month, Imurj’s Main Gallery presents the “Icons of Art Revisited” exhibit by the students of Egg in Nest Art Studio. Jenny Eggleston is the the founder and instructor at Egg in Nest Art studio, an art gallery that offers art classes for children and adults in the Raleigh area. Jenny Eggleston’s focus for this gallery was the big “AHA!” moments that opened the discussion about the artists’ lives and the history behind these iconic paintings, along with encouraging the students to choose pieces that spoke to them. With such a broad theme, Jenny was able to teach the students about art history without them realizing it, and she loved being able to help them understand all the pop culture references that the kids see about these works every day. With each reinterpretation, Jenny saw a personal connection between the student and the work, like 14 year old Cynthia Wang who was inspired to recreate Picasso’s Guernica after the Parkland shootings. Eggleston says “these are the moments that make my role as an art mentor so rewarding. There are at least 50 of these moments in the show.” Throughout the process, Jenny was so impressed by “how natural it was” because the students were nailing these famous paintings.
This First Friday featured the opening reception of the exhibit, as families and friends of the students, along with Imurj patrons, were invited to come meet the young artists and see the work. The environment of Imurj provided a family-friendly space that encouraged conversation and connection between the young artists and their families, as well as the opportunity to show the general public their work. Each student was able to show off their hard work and explain some of the history behind their chosen painting, which provided a wholesome experience for all in attendance. Every piece captures the originality of the individual, like Ryan Hatley who incorporated minions into the background of his rendition of The Scream. Some students even showed off their inspirations in their clothes, like Dana Hall, who wore a Starry Night printed dress to compliment her rendition of Starry Night, a painting now with the addition of The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Jack Skellington. She explained how her work The Starry Night Before Christmas was a collaboration of her two favorite artists, and it “took [her] forever to finish it.” Jenny was impressed with her student’s perseverance and their dedication to recreating these works, she said “the kids didn’t quit; they did not stop.”
Jenny’s vision came to life in a gallery that’s great for a variety of people, as it teaches about art history and shows the originality of the young artists. Parents were able to enjoy seeing their children’s work while having a nice glass of wine, and the students were entertained by their own gallery work and interactive activities like a collaborative coloring of the Mona Lisa. Be sure to stop by Imurj this month and check out the works!
Writer: Torie Tracy
Photo by: Torie Tracy