Jennifer Chen is a shy but outgoing artist entering her senior year at Inglemoor High School.
“When I was little, I always liked going to art museums and going at it, because I like visually appealing things,” Chen said. “It made me feel superficial, but the aesthetic quality should be appreciated more. People don’t pay enough attention to how pretty [things are].”
From there, Chen started classes with her art teacher, who helped guide her through various kinds of artwork, from landscapes to abstract, and more. She learned about the many aspects of art and has taken a keen interest in the concepts, thereof, and the messages that people see in her art.
“My art teacher has been really like a father figure, a secondary one,” said Chen, who works with various mediums but primarily paints. “He encourages me a lot and I really appreciate it, it helps me grow. If you look at my works from earlier times and it was a lot more scoured in my style and, as I kept growing, he let me do things I wanted and that’s how I started growing more.”
She’s already become an award winning artist. In 2013, she won third place in the Archbishop Murphy High School Juried Art Show for students in King, Snohomish and Skagit Counties, and she won first place at the Second Annual Youth Art Exhibit in 2014.
“I’m at peace with whatever people think of it… ‘Is that the Statue of Liberty?’ Maybe,” Chen said. “I like to do vague imagery, but I also like to do food because it’s fun and it makes people happy to see it and see it in a different way.”
Letting the message be in the eye of the beholder.
“It’s excellent, this is the second time I’ve been here [and] Seattle offers such an excellent place to show their work and have this opportunity,” said Rin Zhi-Xian, an acclaimed artists from Beijing. “Her exhibition, all of her art is of very high standard, her talent shows that she paints well in all areas. For example, the [paintings of people] are like cartoons, but it is very good and will appeal to younger people more. Since I’m a little older, I like the paintings that show more maturity, like the landscape [painting].”
More recently, Chen was in the Kenmore Art Show at Bastyr University and held a solo art exhibit at the Bellevue Library, where she raised $450 for charity, including a match from Microsoft.
“It’s kind of scary, but I’m really happy to see a lot of people,” Chen said.
For Chen, her artwork isn’t about what messages people viewing her artwork see, as that can change depending on the person. For Chen, her artwork is about what it means to herself.
“I like the ramen bowl I did because it was something that was fun and I genuinely liked every part of doing it,” Chen said. “Others seemed tedious at times.”
In the foreseeable future, Chen will continue to create her works of art and is looking forward to graduating school.
Until Chen’s next exhibit, interested people will have to find more of Chen’s works by following her blog, www.jenniferchnart.weebly.com/.