On Thursday, July 21 Anne Jenkins will be opening a new art gallery in town located at 127 NW Front Street in Milford. Anne is an unconventional artist in many different respects. She has no formal art education but is self taught, favors to paint with a palette knife instead of a traditional brush and prefers to work quickly to create her artwork instead of a slower more customary pace.
The term unconventional does not only fit Anne in her professional life as an artist but also her personality and attitude towards life. Growing up in South Africa, Anne has traveled the world and used those experiences to shape her art and her life. She painted for the enjoyment of the art and never thought of making it into a career until after the death of her mother, who was the individual in her life who always reminded Anne of how gifted she was.
Through other artists and mistakes Anne began to learn what her style of art would become. Her inspiration for her paintings comes in many different forms and sometimes spontaneously. She recalls the inspiration for her series that currently hangs on the walls of the new gallery. The paintings depict women from around the world living under harsh circumstances.
“I was in my art gallery in Georgia when one of my very wealthy clients came in the door and began complaining about her life,” remembered Anne. “I just kept thinking to myself that she had no clue what having real problems truly meant. Through my travels I had seen women throughout the Middle East and Africa who live with great dignity under tremendous circumstances and hazardous environments.”
Anne did not say a word to the client but as soon as she left Anne ran to her studio and began painting feverishly. Out of this inspiration came a series of beautiful, unique images of women from around the world raising their families and living life in the countries of Turkey, South Africa and Darfur.
Anne’s artwork has been featured in the HBO series “Treme, Series 2” which depicts New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Universal Studios’ movie “Skeleton Key”, the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Lake Oconee in Georgia and Travel Talk Radio in California. She is widely collected around the world with followers including Baron Michal Komers Von Lindenbach and the Zatarain Family.
Moving from Georgia just last month with her husband Lee Nelson, the new Director of Downtown Milford Inc., Anne has begun to enjoy the Milford community.
“I love it, I really do,” commented Anne about the town of Milford, “It has so many positive things going for it.”
She sees great potential in the art community in all forms including visual, theatre, dance and culinary arts. The close proximity of Milford to big cities like Washington D.C. and Philadelphia gives Anne great hope that Milford can become a destination where those people can travel to experience the arts away from the city life.
As she did back in Georgia, Anne hopes to work with the local schools to educate children and the community on the importance of the arts. In Georgia, school children would come to her gallery to view and feel the texture of her palette knife paintings; she admits it drove the teachers mad that the children were encouraged to touch her art as well as look. She hopes to eventually interact with the children through art competitions and receptions where the kids will be able put their artwork on display for the community.
The Anne Jenkins Art Gallery will officially open its doors on Thursday, July 21 at 127 NW Front St in downtown Milford. Gallery hours are Thursday-Saturday 10am to 5pm and by appointment by calling 302-393-6629. To see more of Anne’s artwork visit her online at www.annejenkinsart.com.