Jahna Rae Church | Denver, CO
GIVE A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE WORK YOU DO:
Most of my work is a combination of ink and various types of paint, and recently got into painting murals. I’ve always been interested in the sacred feminine and feminism in modern society, so a lot of what I create includes womxn portraiture and figures with a subliminal message.
WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT JUNETEENTH? WHAT DOES JUNETEENTH MEAN TO YOU?
I think I wish more people knew about Juneteenth in general. It certainly was not taught at my grade school, and I have come across many individuals who had never heard of it, which is mind-blowing. It saddens me that many BIPOC people have to teach themselves the history of their ancestors.
To me, Juneteenth is a day to remember and thank my ancestors, for this country was built on their backs. Juneteenth is a day of celebration and prayer and dancing. Juneteenth is also a day to take a hard look at ourselves as individuals and as a country and start moving forward together, because we still have a long way to go to achieve equality, equity and true freedom.
“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”
TELL US WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED AND THE CREATIVITY FLOWING.
WOMXN! I am constantly in awe of all the incredible things womxn have done throughout history and today, yet heartbroken to know they still go wildly unrepresented. Being a BIPOC woman, I feel I have a certain kind of duty to speak up on the issues that affect me and millions of others. My hope is that my work brings a positive and understanding change to whoever sees it.
HOW DO YOU CHALLENGE YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST? DO YOU EVER PUSH YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE IN ORDER TO GROW AND EVOLVE? IF SO, HOW?
I challenge myself by always trying new things, even if it feels scary or beyond my skill set. I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t jump on opportunities because I’m feeling self-conscious, I regret it. I have found that taking chances provides the most fruitful outcome for my art career.
WHAT BODY OF WORK, IF YOU COULD CHOOSE, ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF THUS FAR IN YOUR CAREER? I am most proud of the work I made in 2020. I only created things that felt good and helped me process my emotions. I think that people were able to relate to the message I was trying to send and because of that, it’s opened up a ton of opportunities to not only get my art out into the world, but find an incredible, supportive community of fellow artists.
WOMXN IN ARTS, PARTICULARLY BIPOC WOMXN, ARE VERY UNDERPRESENTED IN THE ART WORLD. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A FEMXLE BIPOC ARTIST JUST STARTING OUT – PERHAPS ADVICE YOU WISHED YOU HAD RECEIVED AS AN ARTIST? I think my advice would be to stay true to yourself as an artist. Not everyone needs to like or buy your art, but there will definitely be people out there who see, hear and support you. That being said, always network! Don’t be afraid to reach out to other artists for advice or jobs, and apply to all of the art shows you can. Force people to see you! 🙂
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR WORK 5 YEARS FROM NOW? I’m working on getting my small business up and running. My hope is that it becomes a place where I can represent not only my work, but other womxn business owners and artists. I’d like to help other entrepreneurs be seen, the same way I was helped.
TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT WE CAN SEE FROM YOU NEXT. Besides a bunch of new work I’ll be putting out, I’m so excited to be a part of my first ever mural festival hosted by Babe Walls in Denver, Colorado. This is definitely one of those “scary” moments in my career but after meeting all the other Babes and my mural partner, I couldn’t be more ecstatic and humbled to work alongside so many talented artists.
WHERE CAN WE FIND/FOLLOW YOU (WEB/SOCIAL MEDIA/UPCOMING EVENTS)
Events: Sassport Project 2021 – Denver, CO July 10th
Babe Walls 2021 Mural festival – Arvada CO July 15-17!