Cornerstone’s Artist of the Month for January 2017
Below is a recent Q&A with Jennifer Ettinger.
Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.
My father and my grandfather were both high school art teachers. Growing up I was always interested in making things and looking at how things were made. I should have known based on my family history that I would end up being an art teacher as well, but it took me a few years of college until I realized my passion for art would lead me into teaching.
How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?
I have always loved looking at old photographs and letters. My grandparents were great story tellers and I never minded hearing the same memories shared over and over again. For me, creating a collage is like collecting bits of the stories, memories and pictures together in one place. Collage can combine the old with the new and also leave room for the future with new meanings and interpretations.
Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?
My inspiration definitely comes from people and memories. My family and childhood always play a big role in my own story telling. I teach elementary art at Hershey Elementary School and I am continually inspired by my young students. Their curiosity, freedom and excitement are contagious.
Do you have a favorite piece in your portfolio?
My favorite pieces are the ones that are the most personal to me or tell deeper parts of my story. Others may not know the difference when they look at a piece but they are the ones that speak the loudest to me.
What would be your advice to artists just starting out in your medium?
Have fun! Don’t quit. Don’t try to make things look right or make sense. Try something new, make mistakes! Layer! It’s in the layering and piecing together that my artwork unfolds before me. There is never a set plan, it just unravels and reveals itself as I spend time working and enjoy creating.