Jo Ann Nava calls herself a Contemporary Folk Artist, but was born and raised in the South Bronx, New York, which she describes as “ akin to living in a John Sloan painting; with fire escapes, clothes lines and stick ball”. She discovered the world of art through visits to the Metropolitan and Natural History Museums with her mother, and then in Chicago, spending time at the Art Institute and the Field Museum, where she “developed a mutual admiration for contemporary artists and ancient artisans”. Both came into play when she moved to South Florida in 1981 and began designing textiles, murals and faux finishes for the interior design trade. As head artist and designer for Surface Art Inc., her hand painted textiles graced the homes and businesses of prominent private and commercial clients. For 15 years she was the resident artist for Twist Nightclub of Miami, where she transformed the South Beach hot spot each year with themes such as Pompeii, Picasso, Pollack, Tibetan temple, the Audubon Room and ancient Greek pottery painting. The combination of studying these many masters and years spent restoring and reproducing milk paint finishes for 18th-century Swedish furniture heavily influenced materials used in her contemporary art. Her palette and application are instantly recognizable.
Jo Ann has been showing her work in South Florida since the early 1980's. In her first solo exhibition, “Cookies & Milk”, in Fort Lauderdale in 2006, familiar images were simplified and oversized. Milk, she notes, is the unifying human experience, which spans all times and cultures. Her next series, “Happy Birthday to You and You’, continued the theme of life-affirming innocence with large paintings of candle lit cakes and a sculptural installation of children celebrating together. “Living Treasures”, her paintings of older vital Americans, were done with milk paints, house paints and varnishes used in furniture painting and murals to give the work an old world palette. House paint as a medium, she says, brings a harmony to the eye of what we see in our environment.
Jo Ann recently relocated to Lake Worth, and had a solo exhibition at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in January, 2016. She is now at work on a new series for a solo exhibition at Coral Springs Museum, opening in October, 2016.
"My art is an appreciation of the simple daily experience and the rituals we create to celebrate and validate our existence."
The First Tuesday of each month - (Check Schedule For Any Changes)
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Armory Art Center Library
$10 payable at the door
For more details visit http://elleschorrphotography.com/salon-schedule.php