Jana Millstone is a painter whose lengthy professional experience as a designer has led to the three-dimensional aspects of her art. Earning a BFA from Pratt Institute, she also studied at the Art Students League, Parsons School of Design, and FIT. Recipient of the First Prize scholarship from New York Society of Illustrators, her exhibition history includes Brooks Jackson Iolas Gallery and Porter Contemporary Gallery in New York. Born in New York, she recently moved to Sarasota from the Lancaster, PA area. There she exhibited widely, receiving awards and invitational participation in a traveling exhibit with the Susquehanna Art Museum. Moving to Sarasota has given her the opportunity to be part of the rich cultural fabric of the city, winning merit awards in juried exhibitions and First Prize at the Art Center of Sarasota “Daily News” juried exhibition. She is thrilled to be a new member of the Petticoat Painters.
Issues of transition and power drive Jana’s work. Working on panels of wood or archival PVC, she hand cuts human forms and superimposes various visual scenarios on them. As a carpenter she builds spaces, but there life goes on in curious, upside down ways. Jana often uses the intimacy of children and families metaphorically to grapple with larger social issues. Allowing elements to stray beyond the traditional frame borders, she hopes to challenge our expectations. Her palette is bright and pleasing, opening a doorway into worlds that may be disquieting. Her narrative is often deliberately left open, posing questions rather than offering answers.
Although she viewed much of her professional career as time that separated her from her art, she now recognizes how much it has contributed to it. She worked for many prestigious companies designing clothing and jewelry, doing industrial design, illustration, and ultimately as Director of Design Concept at Lenox China. This gave her invaluable exposure to multiple technologies and processes. Such experiences have helped enrich her art practice today, making her convinced that there is a way to achieve any vision.
“My paintings are simply a dialog with myself in an effort to understand things. Those things can be as basic as the relationships of color or form, or as complex as those of human affairs. Sometimes I think I am just inches too short to see over a wall, on the other side of which everything is revealed. Painting is my ladder.”