I enjoy arranging things. Always have. Furniture in a dollhouse, junk in a drawer, words on a page. Surprisingly, my approach to collage is not organized or predictable. Starting with a word or image for inspiration, I rely on intuition as I select, cut, arrange, and paste found materials to create something new. Order from chaos. Working without a plan pushes me beyond my comfort zone. Collage gives me the courage to embrace the winds of unpredictability.
My work is about composition, color and the relationship of images that come together to offer a story or capture a mood. The title of the piece is also part of the narrative. Creating art is a gift that allows me to communicate across language barriers. Sharing my hopes and hurts, joys and fears, I engage in a visual conversation that builds relationships. My intention is to create a moment so viewers can enter another world to smile, connect and wonder. Art heals my soul and I hope that it brings some peace to yours.
A lifelong collector of interesting papers and mixed media, Jennifer Gatz is a collage artist from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since 2017, she has been exploring analog collage, working exclusively with paper, scissors and glue. A weekend collage workshop in 2018 and the daily word prompts of Februllage 2019 motivated her to make collage a regular habit. The quiet concentration of collage is a form of self-care that allows her to enter a meditative flow of spontaneous creativity.
As the daughter of a banker and an artist, Jen is firmly planted in two worlds – left brain and right brain, practical and creative, logical and intuitive. She considers herself a creative problem solver whether she is organizing words on a page, arranging interior furnishings or assembling cut paper into collage. One thing she does not arrange is music, though she enjoys playing the piano and mandolin.
Jen holds a BS degree in Art and Interior Design from Valparaiso University. Work experience includes retail store display, graphic design, communications, volunteer coordination, home staging and marketing. She has exhibited at Lost and Found Gallery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2020; and the Mini Collage Garden in Rochester, New York, 2020. Her work can also be seen on Instagram feeds across the globe @jengatz.