Janine Brown Studio
Born in Belmond, Iowa, Janine Brown is a multi-disciplinary artist. Her award winning artwork has been featured in Arts Centers and galleries, including Moorpark College Art Gallery, Moorpark, CA; Gallery 825, West Hollywood, CA, and the Westport Arts Center (Solos Shows), Westport, CT. In addition, Brown’s work has been selected for numerous group exhibitions, which include “Tra 2 Mari” at the Museo Area Archeologica Arte Contemporanea, Cisternino, Italy; “TenWomen” at Marie Baldwin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; "Personal Vacation" at Gallery 825, West Hollywood, CA; “Flower (re)Power” at the Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT; "How We See Her" at the Foundry Art Center, St. Charles, MO; and “Abstract and Geometric” at The Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL. Images from “The Wallflower Project” were published in two books by the See.Me organization in 2012 and 2014.
Brown graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor in Fine Art and from the Fashion Institute of Technology with an Associates of Applied Science in Fashion Design. Brown is a member of the Los Angeles Art Association, Westport Arts Collective and a former Board Member of both the Women’s Caucus for Arts (CT) and the Westport Arts Center (CT). She resides in Fairfield, CT and maintains a studio at the American Fabrics Arts Building, Bridgeport, CT.
The Wallflower Project
2. A person who has no one to dance with or who feels shy, awkward, or excluded at a party
The body of work entitled, “The Wallflower Project”, examines the social stigma of being a “wallflower” through the use of portraits created with a cardboard pinhole camera, digital pinhole photography and mixed media. Although I never thought of myself as a "Wallflower", I started thinking about the social stigma after a conversation with another artist at a party. She had told a story about how she would enter a party and everyone would look at her husband - not her. I, too, had experienced this at social events. My husband and I would be talking in a group and all of the attention would be on my husband, who many think is an actor. I happily would observe the exchange allowing myself to fade into the background.
With that in mind, I began to research the term. The word “wallflower” was first used in the early 1800’s to refer to a woman without a partner at a dance, presumably sitting against the wall. Also in the 1800’s, wallcovering, such as wallpaper, started to grow in popularity due to a repeal of a “Wallpaper Tax” in England and the development of mass produced wallpapers. Based on this history, I conceived of The Wallflower Project using double exposures (portrait + wallpaper) with a pinhole camera to create an image whereby the subject literally fades into the background. The resulting images create a ghostly portrait that requires the viewer to take notice and spend time to see the person before them. Since the original conception, I have been exploring other mediums including bringing the wallflower off the wall in my installation, “The Wallflower at the Dance”.