All the Emotions! “The Human Condition” Portraits by Jami Childers

"Sorrowful" Mixed Media, 36x48, Jami Childers

Missing Event Data

A fundamental part of the human condition is the ability to see the world through the lens of our experiences. Those experiences are carved out in smile lines, a furrowed brow or a pensive gaze. It’s the job of a portrait artist to navigate the map of human expression and emphasize the details that speak to each stage of our individual journey.

Artist Jami Childers stages her exhibit “The Human Condition” December 2nd at The Beaches Fine Art Series with a performance by The Manhattan Piano Trio with Ugena Zuckerman. The exhibit features a series of new portraits that explore the myriad of emotions that live in all of us. The exhibit will run through January 15th at St. Paul’s by the Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach.

“The eyes are my favorite part of the painting,” she says. “It is where you can capture the sparkle, mischievousness, or even the pain.”

Childers is excited for the opportunity to introduce her work to a new audience. While she has shown some of her work at Players by the Sea, “The Human Condition” is her first solo exhibit. “Art is so subjective. I’m sure everyone will feel differently about the show. I’m not sure what they will discover about me,” she says. “Maybe they will find out that I am a sensitive person that wears her feelings on her sleeve. Fortunately, I have my art to express myself through, some things are too tough to say out loud. Better to let it scream out on the canvas.”

jami-childers-with-cover-painting-and-danyelle-loperAs a portrait artist, Childers must strike the delicate balance between detail and spirit. It should tell a story about the subject. “The eyes are my favorite part of the painting,” she says. “It is where you can capture the sparkle, mischievousness, or even the pain.”

Childers paints a lot of happy faces, and “The Human Condition” was ‘born from a need to delve into the emotions that are the center of who we are and how we cope with life.’ “As we all know, happiness is just a part of the many emotions inside of us. We go through events in our lives, and many times, due to circumstances, we can become trapped in stages like depression or anger. Some never see their way out. Mental illness can prevent some from never getting past depression. It’s a story that my heart needed to tell,” she says.

“We are just like the seasons. There is a time for winter, spring, fall and summer. The portraits were painted with a particular feeling or season in mind. Each painting has a color that also reflects the mood.”

Created with layers of collage and acrylic paint, Childers says she used the techniques to reflect the facets of the human personality. The acrylic paint demonstrates our transparency, she says.

“I primarily paint in oil, however, the works had to have translucency. The faces are painted in such a way that the viewer can also interpret the under painting in collage,” she says. “We are just like the seasons. There is a time for winter, spring, fall and summer. The portraits were painted with a particular feeling or season in mind. Each painting has a color that also reflects the mood.”

It was the summer when an 8-year-old Childers first picked up a paintbrush. “He noticed I loved drawing and told me we were going to learn to paint,” she says. “My parents were so supportive of my love of art, and I am thankful for that. I have taken a few workshops and some classes at FSCJ, however, I have learned much on my own through experimentation.”

As the owner of Monroe Galleries in downtown Jacksonville, Childers encourages people to recognize the value of local art. The gallery represents a talented cross-section of local artists. Her portrait business is thriving, but the majority of her business is in online sales. Walk-up traffic is virtually nonexistent, and many of the sales come from people visiting from out of town.

“We have several talented artists represented at the gallery, and their work is exceptional, so lack of quality is not the problem. I’m not saying that people should go out there and buy just for the sake of buying, however, when you see a piece and it speaks to you, think about taking it home. Good art keeps its value.”

“We have all the ingredients for it to be a thriving market. It’s kind of sad that we are not being supported by our own city. I can only speak to my own experience,” she says. “We have several talented artists represented at the gallery, and their work is exceptional, so lack of quality is not the problem. I’m not saying that people should go out there and buy just for the sake of buying, however, when you see a piece and it speaks to you, think about taking it home. Good art keeps its value.”

About Liza Mitchell

october, 2021

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