February 3, 2016 - March 1, 2016

“I am seeking for a place that may only exist in spirit or imagination through my own experience in nature and on the canvas.” Through her artistic practice, Jena Schmidt explores concepts of direction, wilderness, spiritual guidance, and exploration.  

 When Schmidt’s grandfather passed away, her family inherited his old camping gear. One of the items which was given to her brother was a brass compass. Inside the lid, Schmidt’s grandfather had etched the words, “Black North.” Upon seeing this, her mind lit up imagining this was a clue to an undiscovered place, one only her grandfather knew about. Schmidt later found out the words were just a reminder that the arrow for North on the compass was black, yet she still found Black North pulling at her towards its wild and mysterious landscape. 

 The search for a place Schmidt knows doesn’t exist allows her to build her own myths, and at the same time demystify the unknown when she finds answers. This art process has become a metaphor and guide for navigating Schmidt’s own life. “For me, painting is about a search, though I don’t always know what I am searching for. But as I allow my eyes to be open to possibility, my perspectives are changed both in life and in art and a new piece to the story is uncovered.” 

Jena Schmidt is a Salt Lake City, Utah native. She grew up with a love for art of all genres. She began serious study of fine arts at Utah Valley University in 2006 and graduated from Brigham Young University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. Jena's professional experience has included 7 years of studio assistant-ship and mentoring with professional artist, Hyunmee Lee.  She is currently living and working in Salt Lake City. 

 The show runs through the month of February at Gallery 81435, located at 230 S Fir Street in Telluride, Colorado. Open daily from 12-6pm or by appointment. 

Link to Artist Page