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“I have always worked within a bold color range and the lusciousness of paint fascinates me,” says Jennifer Ivanovic. “All my work is poured onto the canvas, and blown with straws, manipulated with toothpicks and knives. This spontaneity creates magic on the canvas. I try to let the paint tell me what it needs from me. I let the paint dance on the canvas.”

Based in Fort Collins, Jennifer created a traveling art installation entitled “Stigma Stains” that aspires, through paint, to make the stigma of mental illness transparent. It comprises free-formed, poured “stain” paintings and corresponding stories taken from personal interviews with volunteers about the struggles and triumphs of living with mental illness.

Each of the personal narratives gives a moving account of the subject’s struggle with adversity and marginalization living with mental illness in our culture and their determination to triumph and live healthy, fulfilling lives. Jennifer paints elaborate metaphors and symbols used to represent the substance of the secrets.

Having lived in many countries, Jennifer says, “I see myself as helping to define what it means to be a ‘Western Artist’ … I think seeing life from different perspectives helps define my own artistic narrative and incite development and refinement within my work. I want to let the paint speak from my mind and heart.”