Jean Hess

Mixed Media: Painting + Collage Artist

Jean Hess’ multi-variant creative output segues with an equally unpredictable life.  She has lived in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Abiquiu New Mexico as well as Atlanta, Dallas and now Knoxville, Tennessee. Her work-for-pay background includes stints as a computer programmer, Montessori teacher, museum registrar, writer and research consultant for government and private industry.  With degrees [BA, MA] in cultural anthropology she tends to draw inspiration from wide-ranging interests, and not always according to established rules. 

Hess is well-known for experimental mixed-media collage paintings and assemblages that combine the skillful use of layered paint and resins, light refraction and found materials such as antique ephemera and pressed plants.  Because her palette, surface and touch are consistent, one can always tell a work of art is hers. And yet Hess likes surprises, plays with materials that are sometimes unfamiliar, operates in a controlled-experiment spirit and likes accidental detours that energize her work. While she took some undergraduate art courses she is largely self-taught. 

Hess was given a solo show at the Huntsville Museum of Art in 2004, with an award-winning catalogue accompanying that exhibition.  

In 2013 her work was featured in "Abstract America," shown at Saatchi Online, curated by Rebecca Wilson, Saatchi Gallery, London. 

With two other artists her work was featured in a show at Knoxville Museum of Art in 2014.  

Hess has had multiple shows at US colleges and universities.  

Public collections include: Huntsville Museum of Art; Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science; Knoxville Museum of Art; University of Virginia; Farm Credit Administration; Knoxville Convention Center; City of Chattanooga; St. Mary’s Hospital Heart Institute [IN]; Canon USA.  

Jean Hess is proud that much of her work is in private collections, cared for by sympahetic individuals.