Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Click to read a letter from Kathleen Jackson

Click to read a letter from Kathleen Jackson

Click to read a letter from Kathleen Jackson

Click to read a letter from Kathleen Jackson

Click to read a letter from Kathleen Jackson

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39 South Main Street
Oberlin, Ohio 44074

Phone: (440) 774-7158
Fax: (440) 775-1107


Jennifer Sowders

Cooler Weather

Watercolor on Yupo

Artist Statment: 

I live in rural Ohio on a dead-end road. Fields, a creek, a pond and woods are all things I’ve quietly observed over the years. Spending the past 2 years as part of a weekly plein air group; only using watercolor, put that observation into a discipline.

I am moved by Impressionism; by exploring ways of creating depth and texture; by John Singer Sargent’s looseness and yet clarity on the details and intrigue or storytelling elements in my work. Pathways in my landscapes are therefore common-place.

I am currently exploring watercolors on Yupo paper for the luminous glow and saturation of color, due to it’s inability to absorb. I am also intrigued by the texture I’m able to achieve thus far; being 5 paintings total in experience with this, I am excited to continue.

On Covid-19:

This Covid season has been joyful and sorrowful at the same time. I got into 2 back to back National Watercolor Society Shows. It is truly exciting to feel I’m turning a corner in my career and have found my ‘voice’ only to not be able to really celebrate at an opening reception. Not to mention, a statewide traveling show stop here locally that cancelled and wasn’t even mentioned in the local news… it’s a little disorienting. I feel like a tree that hasn’t died, being chopped down to burn.

I should be happier with my good news but it feels more like "just something good to put on my resume." I can only hope that people will take the time to appreciate the artwork online.

“Cooler Weather” is in halted progress due to Ohio’s rainy weather with a concurrent studio leak, as well as a postponement of the Ohio State Fair’s annual exhibition… because the emergency of the studio leak comes before the postponed show. It’s funny so many local businesses are taking advantage to remodel but it’s not something I wanted to do at all. It is hard not to get emotional writing this all out… I have art stranded in CA, in Columbus OH… shows cancelled, a promise of multiple shows going on but only via online… I think the only worse feeling could be an artist devoid of a senior thesis show at an art college.

Zoom meetings of the art organizations I’m part of, and texting daily with artists I consider part of my 'accountability partners’ has been vital. Friends encourage me with, “...after a plague came the Renaissance!” So I cling to HOPE; look to online sales and the light at the end of this Covid tunnel.


Growing up on a ‘dead end’ road in the county; Ohio-native artist, Jennifer Sowders, grew up spending a lot of time studying nature. Jennifer relates, "Whether carefully designed or plein air, I spend quite a bit of time planning before I ever create. Structure is important to me... I don’t like to frost a ‘messy cake’.”

Jennifer works primarily in watercolor and has recently gained entrance into The 2020 National Watercolor Society’s (NWS) Annual Member Show, as well as NWS 2020 “50 Stars” Exhibition. The latter being quite an honor as two artworks are chosen from each state-level watercolor society to represent their state. Her work has been in the Ohio State Fair, Ohio Watercolor Society shows including the traveling exhibition, as well as many Juried shows throughout Ohio. She is an Associate member of the Ohio Watercolor and National Watercolor Societies; on the board of the Fostoria Area Arts Council and member of the Ohio Art League.

Jennifer is a 1994 BFA graduate from the Columbus College of Art and Design, her major in Illustration is often noted via storytelling elements in her body of work. Her work was the flagship 1st quarter cover-art for the 2020 Northwest Ohio e-zine publication; “Of Rust and Glass” and concordantly shown and mentioned on a WTOL 11 Toledo broadcast.

She has recently illustrated a children’s book entitled “Kinsley’s Snowflake Dance” in watercolor and completed a mural celebrating the city of “Fostoria”. Jennifer lives on her rural childhood farm in Northwest Ohio with husband Gary and 3 sons.

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