Artist Jason Bly of Wichita Falls, Texas, has been honored at a regional juried art show. The Midwestern State University associate professor of art took second place at the 2023 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, with his oil on-panel piece “Norepinephrine.”
Juror Dr. Rachel Trusty, artist and visiting assistant professor at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, presented the awards during the exhibition’s opening reception at The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas July 20. In her juror remarks, Trusty noted, “Bly’s trompe-l’oeil shadow box painting ‘Norepinephrine’ mixes classical referents, including a Greek sculpture with atomic-bomb preparation materials from the ‘50s to address current anxieties. A painted, hyper-realistic string connects each section, suggesting these tense feelings will continue from the past, far into the future.”
About Jason Bly
Jason Bly is an associate professor of art at Midwestern State University, where is has taught painting and drawing courses since 2017. Previous teaching experience includes Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois.
In his paintings, Bly examines the present day through the lens of past predictions, dating from 1950-1990. “These forecasts, whether in scientific journals or science fiction, saw beyond the year 2000 to a variety of outcomes,” he said in his artist statement. “The hope of clean energy, security, and ability to travel to new worlds was coupled with a sense of fear through political tensions, death from an unseen attack, and lacking the ability to control our own creations.”
Bly is interested in portraying these events alongside everyday household items, pop culture imagery, or art historical references that act as symbolic tokens. Several layers of oil paint are applied through traditional methods, building over 50 thin layers to achieve both flat color and deeper realistic passages. This slow, meticulous technique, apart from creating a tight visual aesthetic, challenges concepts of forward progress, multi-tasking, and mechanical processes referenced within the imagery.
He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from SIUE, and Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in painting and printmaking at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Visit his website jasonbly.com and follow him on Instagram at instagram.com/jblyart.
About The Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition
The Rosenzweig exhibition welcomes submissions in traditional and digital art forms from artists in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. For the 2023 exhibition, ASC received 594 artwork submissions by 315 artists, from which Trusty chose 35.
The exhibition is on view at ASC, 701 S. Main St., through Saturday, Oct. 14. Admission is free.
The Rosenzweig exhibition began with a gift from the Irene Rosenzweig Foundation in 1992. Born in Pine Bluff in 1903, Rosenzweig was a noted scholar and teacher. She earned a doctoral degree from Bryn Mawr College, studied in Rome, and was fluent in six languages. Rosenzweig tutored President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s family members during their time in the White House. She died in 1997.
The Irene Rosenzweig Endowment Fund Inc. supports the exhibition and includes purchase awards for the ASC’s permanent collection. For more information, visit asc701.org/rosenzweig.