We are delighted to welcome Jennifer Conner to our expert judges panel for Jackson’s Open Painting Prize 2019. As well as leading the Affordable Art Fair team in the UK, Jennifer is Director of the After Nyne Creative Services Group, curating exhibitions for its Holland Park gallery and is also publisher of the After Nyne magazine. We caught up with Jennifer to ask about her favourite painters, projects and exhibitions and of course, her advice for the entrants of Jackson’s Open Painting Prize 2019.
Clare: We’re thrilled that you are on the judging panel for this year’s Jackson’s Open Painting Prize. How important do you think awards and prizes are to artists today and have you seen the positive effects of awards and prizes on artists in the past?
Jennifer: They are extremely important – I have seen artists’ careers hugely benefit from the visibility and prominence that awards and prizes provide, often catapulting them to the next level of their career. These types of prizes can legitimize their work and mean that they may be more likely to be noticed by high profile galleries and museums.
Clare: What were your exhibition highlights in 2018?
Clare: Who are some of the fashion houses have you worked with?
Clare: What are you looking forward to in the new 2019 art-wise? Can you recommend any artists to look out for?
Jennifer: Of course I always look forward to the Affordable Art Fair, which is on in Battersea in both March and October, and in Hampstead in May. It is SO hard to recommend artists to look out for as art is truly subjective. That is why the fair is so popular – there is such diversity of artists and styles… and of course price! Art should really only be purchased if it ‘speaks’ to you. If it evokes some kind of emotional reaction and you find it hard to pull yourself away… buy it!
Clare: Who are some of your favourite painters?
Jennifer: Another tough question! When I first started my art career at Sotheby’s, I was less educated and loved the Impressionists – Monet, Modigliani, Degas. While that has never changed, I was exposed to more genres and the incredible experts who are so passionate about their subject. That included Old Masters, 19th century painters and ultimately contemporary painters. There are emerging painters at my own gallery that I love (Richard Hoey, as one), along with more established names. I currently lean toward more abstract works, so, artists such as Robert Motherwell and Kandinsky.
Clare: Do you have your own private collection of art?
Jennifer: Yes, I do. My collection consists of some of After Nyne’s artists (Chris Kenny, as an example); an artwork by Peter Joseph that was gifted to me by Nicholas Logsdail when I left Lisson Gallery; a recent purchase of Daniel Ablitt from Will’s Art Warehouse (owned by Will Ramsay of Affordable Art Fair); and a Charming Baker that I purchased from the London Art Fair.
Clare: What will you be looking for in the entries submitted to this years competition?
Jennifer: Technique, a unique perspective – and always, always, an emotional reaction.
Clare: Do you have any advice for any artists considering entering our competition?
Jennifer: Don’t try to be like anyone else. Find your unique voice, stick with it, and be passionate about getting it out there.
Feeling inspired? Check out the competitions website here: www.jacksonspaintingprize.com for more information or to enter the Jackson’s Open Painting Prize 2019.