Featured Artist Hosts Webinar Discussing Her Techniques and Inspiration

Current Art Exhibition Showcased in Learning Commons at Bridgewater College

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  • Janly Jaggard described her artwork and technique, working with vitreous enamel, for this piece and many others in a Zoom webinar for students of Bridgewater College.

  • Janly Jaggard hosted a Zoom webinar for Bridgewater College students where she discussed her artistic techniques and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the inspiration of herself and other individuals in the art community.

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Ryann Crennan, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va – Artist Janly Jaggard led a discussion with Professor Eric Kniss for Bridgewater College students on Thursday, Oct. 15, entitled “A State of Flux: Painting and Vitreous Enamel.” 

Vitreous enamel is a type of glass that is formulated to adhere to the surface of metals. 

Jaggard defines her work with vitreous enamel as “powdered glass that is sifted onto a metal surface. In this case, and in most of my work, it is onto copper.” 

Jaggard explains that a component and role of being an enamelist artist is to “celebrate the fact that the enamel is there to start with.” 

“[I used] powdered glass of many different colors, opaque and translucent, sifted through various stencils and other tools…Each color is fused separately, in layers, for about 90 seconds at 15,000 degrees fahrenheit,” said Jaggard. 

Throughout the webinar, Jaggard highlighted specific pieces that are on display in the Forrer Learning Commons and explained her process in creating them. She also commented on the opportunities that artists have when examining their work from a well-lit, proper gallery. 

“[It] allows the artist to do a bit of serious review about their work. Where they’re going, where they’re coming from, and where they need to go next,” said Jaggard. 

In a Q & A session at the end of the presentation, Kniss asked Jaggard “During the COVID pandemic, has it been easier to create pieces or more difficult?”

“Difficult. Definitely more difficult,” Jaggard responded. “I have spoken to many artists who have had the same experience. Many of us, local artists within the community, gather virtually to discuss ideas. Many of us feel like, whatever it is to drive us to do the work has been hit in the gut… It has been very difficult to find the initiative or inspiration to actually put brush to canvas… It feels as though COVID, for myself and other artists, has kind of removed the urge to be creative. [That is] because what we’re all trying to do is heal and answer the crisis.”

Jaggard was born in Suffolk, England in 1949. She relocated to the Shenandoah Valley in 1993, where she teaches art at a variety of different institutions. Some of her specialties include drawing, painting, vitreous enamel and handbill ceramics. 

Jaggard’s work is on display in the Beverly Perdue Art Gallery of the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons until Oct. 27.