Piece description from the artist
Angelica was the grandmother of an old friend of mine. The last time I saw her was surrounded by her 12 grown children, with all their growing families, singing "12 Days of Christmas" as was the tradition. They're a big family and scattered across the country, so it's hard getting the whole family together for the holidays. Underlying the joy of their Christmas spirit was the knowledge that Angelica had cancer and this might be the last holiday they all spent together.
A year later: I wasn't in touch with the family anymore when I saw Angelica's obituary. I drew this piece for her, for anyone who has lived along those blurry lines between pain and joy, for anyone who knows the feeling of being close in spirit but far in body from their loved ones. I drew this piece to remember why we love in the wake of heartbreak, to know that we are capable of feeling both happy and sad because of how deeply we care for one another.
Jenie Gao is an artist specializing in woodcuts, ink drawings, and allegorical storytelling. Her work
across industries has made her a firm believer in different disciplines working together to inform
and help one another. Art is nothing without dialogue and inseparable from culture and the
values that define it.
Jenie received her BFA in Printmaking/Drawing from Washington University in St. Louis.
Following her studies, Jenie worked in education and nonprofit before going into commercial
printing and the pursuit of a career in lean manufacturing: the reduction of waste in business
In the past year, Jenie left her job at her former company to pursue her artwork. She spent the
beginning of 2015 traveling to pursue two art residencies in Argentina and Chile, and has now
returned to Madison with new work and new stories that challenge the way we see ourselves
and the world around us, and therefore invite us to make a difference. She continues to consult
in lean and sees her creative philosophies as inseparable from her vision of organizations that
run more simply and beautifully.
Bonus info: Jenie makes an award-winning strawberry rhubarb pie.
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