Artist Statement

In Landscape—Love & Longing I maintain an old-fashioned love of paint in a technological age takes William James’s “buzzing, blooming confusion,” to new heights. Love for the privilege to paint the Keswick Ridge landscape, longing to know, to understand, to get it right, not through some facile nostalgia, but an exquisite joy—wrought from a deep desire, an ache, a pain, a craving, a great wish, a yearning—always mindful not to mistake pointing at the moon for the moon.

“Sorry Jennifer, but you have to suffer to be beautiful,” I heard this mantra as my mother rinsed away soapy tears while washing my hair. In her kitchen I witnessed the aesthetic power of glistening cadmium red tomato gravies streaked with grassy green olive oil. The presence of the beautiful countered the challenges of our working class Italian immigrant lives.

Outside our Newark, New Jersey home, flower, herb and vegetable gardens, grape vines and rose arbors provided entrees into the natural world within the surrounding urban landscape. Although built from nature, it was a world built from culture too. The dichotomy has led to a dismissal of the beautiful in some artistic and academic circles. The beautiful is often belittled in favor of socially, culturally, and politically charged content.

For me beauty compels replication. Beauty is the means by which we renew our search for truth and our regard for that which is life giving. In its presence I am made to stop, to slow down, and to look deeply. My mantra derives from my childhood, that the beautiful is not merely something observed, but something practiced. As an artist and educator my work attempts to recreate the call and response of the beautiful for myself and for others.


Jennifer Pazienza was born in Newark, New Jersey. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she began making art in her mother’s kitchen. She earned a BEd in Art from the William Paterson College of NJ in 1976, taught art K-12, and took a Master of Art Education in 1985 and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Art Education in1989 at the Pennsylvania State University. Art educator Brent Wilson and artist Richard Mayhew have had the greatest influence on her work.

From 1987-89 she was at Texas Tech University and the University of Wisconsin, but it was the University of New Brunswick, with its high regard for creative work, that won her heart. So, in 1989 with an offer she could not refuse, she joined the Faculty of Education.

A research consultant for the Getty Centre for Arts Education, the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, and the Museum of Civilization, Pazienza’s scholarship includes conferences in Canada, the US and Europe, published academic papers and critical reviews of artists/scholars’ work. With Sicilian artisans she completed a commissioned ceramic tile panel and a painted mural for Azienda Agricola Alcalà.

Dr. Pazienza’s work resides in Public and Corporate Collections in the Province of New Brunswick; the Department of Education, the McCain Corporation, Nesbitt-Burns, the Saint John Regional Hospital Emergency Wing, the UNB Permanent Collection and in private collections throughout the US, Canada and Italy. She is represented by the Ingrid Mueller Art + Concepts Art Gallery, Fredericton and Aphrodite Art Gallery, Antigonish, NS.