Four Day Ray: Jennifer Hoard’s “In Between Dreams”

Four Day Ray: Jennifer Hoard’s “In Between Dreams”

Born in Indianapolis, Jennifer Hoard, first started to play with collaging out of boredom in elementary school, after finishing work early. Her teacher told her, “Go cut something out of National Geographic” and that was all it took. Starting with putting bird heads on pictures of ladies, Jennifer discovered the wonder of “creating a new image from different sources,” and mixed media.

After attending Indiana University in Bloomington, where she earned her BFA, she began to experiment with collage in the composition of her paintings. By removing elements of photos from their original context, a new and enhanced meaning can be revealed as they are juxtaposed against other photographic components. Since traditional collage medium is generally limited by the photograph’s original size, the assigning of new proportions allows the artist to render them in a new light reflecting an enhanced meaning. Jennifer has been collaging for so long, she no longer needs to physically collage, she simply sees the final image in her head and starts painting.

Jennifer Hoard

She was either making collages or drawing and painting, and decided that if she was to pursue art, she wanted it to be a legitimate art form. She tried to foster other interests, but really could never get herself interested in anything else other than art. She began her first year of college with the intent of studying neuroscience because a career advisor told her she should, but the art classes were the only ones she spent time in.  “I felt I had no choice.”

“After college for a couple of years, I was doing photo realistic images of waters and bubbles, rain,” she says. “It was fine, but I was starting from a photo and turning it into a painting. I went back to the collage style and did that ever since. [Painting] sprang out of collaging, it wasn’t something I was going to put on a wall in a gallery—it was just something I did to pass time and think about new ideas, just a hobby—until about six years ago [when I started] turning them into paintings.”

The pandemic affected Jennifer as it did everyone and she turned to painting in 2020 as a way to sooth anxiety. “…a lot of fear about what this will look like, how will it end, how will this affect me, so I was trapped in my bubble—[it was] soothing to have something to do, but I never started with an idea of what I wanted [my painting] to be about. I find the meaning at the end when it comes together. Ideas emerge from what gets put together.”

Jennifer’s objective in designing her paintings is to capture the general shape, appearance, and mood of her dreams—the way that time and space lose their footing in logic, and gravity seems to twist rather than pull. Her subjects are always painted in greyscale as an expression of the dreamer, who is out of his/her usual reality. 

“In Between Dreams”, Jennifer’s exhibit at Four Day Ray, truly carries out her theme of painting her dreams, “They all come from the same place in my head,” Jennifer says. “I’ve dabbled in a lot of different styles, and this is the style that feels the most uniquely me.” See Jennifer’s exhibit while enjoying a local craft brew at Four Day Ray from October 4th-December 29th. Meet her at her reception on Monday, October 11th from 4:30pm-7:30pm in the Brewery. 

Les Reinhardt
lreinhardt@nickelplatearts.org