Colorado artist Jennie Kiessling started her career in Wyoming, working for the Art Council and now has her own gallery show at Laramie County Community College in the Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery. Laramie County Community College is hosting the “Same Mind” exhibit now through March 1.
Kiessling was born and raised in Chicago, Ill. She attended the University of Chicago and earned her master’s degree in art. She went to the Art Institute of Chicago for her bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
Kiessling moved to Wyoming in 2000 and started working for the Art Council. She worked for the council for two years. Kiessling then moved back to Loveland, Col.,where she started her own art studio. She teaches art at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Col.
Kiessling said she got her inspiration from attending a conference in Chicago in the 1950s, where they spoke about Buddhism and a new code of ethics. Kiessling said at the conference they talked about spirituality, formal art and design.
Kiessling has an exhibit, “Drawn Thought,” of her work at Western Wyoming College. It is a journal that she has been working on since 1998. Kiessling said that the journal holds the beginning sketches of most of her work.
Kiessling then created the art pieces that are now showing at LCCC. Her gallery is known as “The Same Mind.” Kiessling named the gallery to show that the work was created by the same mind, meaning her mind. She created the gallery from 2016 to 2017.
Kiessling said that she would go into a meditative state while drawing. She said when she meditates, she “realizes she’s sinking.” Once in the state Kiessling said she would focus on her breathing and the lines she was drawing.
While Kiessling is creating her work, she uses different techniques. The one she uses the most for her artwork is simple drawing and easing. She uses colored pencils to draw on the wall.
Kiessling also uses graphite. When she was working with the graphite, she worked on the floor. Kiessling said that when she was spreading the graphite she had to use her entire body.
Kiessling said she doesn’t name her work, so the audience doesn’t get influenced and can make their own inferences on her work. Kiessling said that she believes that her paintings are “self being entities,” and people should figure out what the artwork means to them.