Artist and Facilitator
by Rachel Perry
photo by George Bredewater
The Village Green Building, overlooking Nashville’s Main Street, has a long tradition of housing artist’s studios. Sharon Jungclaus joined Dick and Dixie Ferrer to open the newest addition, “The Village Studio and Gallery,” this past spring.
The rooms on the second floor serve as inspirational workspace for the trio of artists as well as a gallery showroom for the creations of several of their colleagues.
The unique emporium offers original, traditional, contemporary, and tribal art for sale as well as locally hand made jewelry, pottery, weaving, mosaics and stained glass art. Two types of classes, facilitated by the three gallery owners, are also offered. They include “Contemporary Art Classes,” designed for self-exploration using a variety of art media, subject matter and application; and “Traditional Classes,” for learning basic art skills in painting, collage, and mixed media.
For Sharon Jungclaus, facilitating art classes merges two skills that have dominated her life experiences. An occupational therapist by vocation, she has pursued artistic endeavors whenever time and circumstances have allowed. “I always dabbled in art,” she admits, “but it’s pretty hard to do when you have little kids. You’d get things out to paint and they’d get into everything.” Her daughter and son have since grown up, allowing Ms. Jungclaus opportunities to renew her dedication to art.
“I started messing around with jewelry and did some shows with my friend, Jenny Guerrero. Then, when I moved down here (to Brown County) in 1987, I really started getting back into my painting,” she recalled. “Then I drifted away again when I was working full time at the hospital.”
Raised with two younger sisters in Speedway, Indianapolis, Sharon attended four years at the Herron Art Institute, specializing in commercial fashion art the last year. “Which was never really my thing,” she declared. “I loved doing (fine) art but I got overly practical and decided that fine artists starve and so I switched to commercial art. I never really enjoyed it.” Her pragmatism landed her a job as a fashion advertising illustrator for Wasson’s Department Store after graduating.
Ms. Jungclaus’s formal art education at Herron provides solid basics to build upon whenever she returns to art. “When I went to Herron we had classes in life drawing and anatomy. It was very structured,” she said. “One class we did with color theory. We had a big piece of heavy illustration board and divided it all up and made little blocks of color to depict color intensity, hue, shadow and values. At that time I was riding the city bus to school and I was dragging this wet chart back and forth on the bus. And after getting paint on two or three people, they gave me wide berth!” she laughed. “The night before the color chart was due I was down to the wire since I was also working at the time. But I somehow got the chart done and turned it in….My unmatted, beat up, nasty color chart turned out to be the only one that was correct in the class!”
Ms. Jungclaus’s current landscapes in the gallery are representational works that successfully convey three dimensional depth. Several of them reflect a passion for the American Southwest. One of the artist’s obvious strengths, however, is her handling of midwestern summer greens. Green is a color notorious among artists for its complex mixing characteristics.
“I went on a vacation last month to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and wanted to paint. But everything was all green and it was hard to find a subject that inspired me,” she said. Judging from the resulting landscape, her trepidations were overcome.
Ms. Jungclaus continues to work three days per week at the Columbus Hospital with a program, “First Steps for Kids,” which offers special help for children who exhibit developmental delays from birth to three years of age.
The shared studio in the Village Green building provides space with an open feeling, enhanced by a high ceiling and plentiful north and east light. “It’s a nice place to be. It does make a difference (for wanting to paint),” Sharon smiled. “But I might start on something and then I know I may not get back to it for several days.” Sometimes, however, the artist finds the time away from the painting advantageous. “What I find is that the break allows me to look at the painting with a fresh eye. If you don’t see it for awhile, you may see something you wouldn’t if you looked constantly at it.”
The Village Studio and Gallery is open Friday through Monday, 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Since one of the three “artists in residence” is usually working in the studio, the gallery is occasionally open other days as well. One can also make an appointment by calling 812-988-1994. The web site is www.artfulspirits.com and Sharon Jungclaus’ e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.