Jennifer Moss

Moss, by day an instructional designer at UAF eLearning & Distance Education, has lived in Alaska for roughly 35 years and considers the “long, cold, dark and monochromatic landscapes of winter a canvas for the imagination.” She has explored her inner creativity as an artist, photographer and designer in digital and analog formats, and her favorite element is color.

“I’ve always found fire to be aesthetically interesting but I really had no direct experience with fire other than the yearly fires we all experience in the Interior,” Moss said.

Moss’ work has a lot to do with texture. She works with acrylic, and adds layers of color and texture to her pieces as she works: “Just as layers of paint are applied, so too are layers of meaning for the viewer to explore,” she explained in biographical information submitted for this project. She begins with a fine-grained board and adds layers of color, building them to show depth and shape using acrylic paint and gel, graphite, ink, natural materials and metal leaf. For her “The Art of Fire” work she was particularly interested in cartography and geography of fire.

“The cartography maps were particularly inspiring. I wanted to show the texture of fire,” she said.

For Moss, the investigation process for this project was particularly stimulating.

“There is a connectedness one gets from working in this way that is immensely rewarding and gratifying,” she explained. “Understanding a process through the interacting and sharing of ideas is a wonderfully deep way to investigate a topic.”

Jennifer Moss
Photo by Jim Barker.
Jennifer Moss
Photo by Jim Barker.
Jennifer Moss
Photo by Jim Barker.
Jennifer Moss
Photo by Jim Barker.

Artist Statement

Fire is fascinating to me because it comes from the soul of the earth, the core. It melts deep ice, it alters the composition of our air, it follows us with it’s brazen unpredictable immediacy and then is gone leaving ashen trails and spaces for pausing and rebirth. It is the power and inevitability of this element that is exhilarating to explore. I’m very inspired by the colors, geography and idea landscape of an evolving ecosystem affected by fire.

My work usually consists of abstracted layers of meaning that weave a story or ideas through a graphically rich presentation.  The stories of the viewer are as important as my own and I enjoy hearing about what others see. In the works presented here, the idea of fire is the only common thread but renewal and fierce beauty also played a large part along with cartography and northern environmental elements.

The experience of collaboration between field experts, community and artist for this project has been amazing and has provided a substrait for pursuing true depth in exploration of this theme.  

There is a certain feeling that I experience when I feel the need to create like the swelling of a tide or the anticipation of spring. I have been painting and making art for as long as I remember, and, over time, my work has moved from a figurative focus towards the abstract. I have also been employed in graphic design and related fields for the last twenty years, which has influenced my art greatly.