Member Artist - Jane Hansjergen
I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not felt the urge to create artistically. As a young child I was fascinated with the natural world, specifically the physical structure of and the behaviors of animals, and I would spend many hours drawing or creating creatures made of mud. My family moved to Japan when I was 12 and I became fascinated with Japanese ceramics and culture, influenced by the Zen of simplicity. One of the great loves of my life since, has been traveling the world in search of the distinctive art, fauna and culture of each locale. My travels led to a deep fascination with anthropology, especially prehistoric cave art and shamanistic art, and the influence of the natural world in both. I am intrigued with how art is expressed by indigenous artists, using natural materials such as wood, bone, stone and clay. I always want to know about the myth, folk tale or symbolism that lies behind the art, or how the art was used as a bridge between the spiritual and physical realms.
My fascination with animals led to a degree in Physical Anthropology and to a 24 year career in zoological institutions. Late in my career I went back to school and got my teaching credential, and taught 2nd grade in Elk Grove for 10 years. Although now retired, I still teach part time, and for the past 4 years I have taught art to 6th graders, with the goal of having them see and experience art through new eyes. It is through my art, that I am able to meld all of my diverse interests together.
I have worked with many mediums over the years, but again and again I am drawn back to three dimensional sculpture. I have sculpted in clay, stone, wood, paper and found objects, but I keep coming back to clay, loving the fluidity and adaptability it presents.
I have lived in “Old Town” Elk Grove since 1983 and have always felt very involved in what I still think of as its small town charm. Being a member of the Fine Arts Center is another way to be a part of this wonderful community.