Jennifer Dorner was born in Victoria, British Columbia. She received her BFA from the University of Ottawa, and MFA from the University of Western Ontario, successfully defending her thesis on September 11th 2001. The harsh, terrifying reality of that day was in sharp contrast to the calm, amusing, escapist installation in the gallery. The theme of ‘fleeing unrest’ has continued to evolve in Jennifer’s work over the past decade. She spent time in Halifax, Nova Scotia as the Director of Eyelevel Gallery from 2003 – 2005, which is where she began to paint. Now based in Montreal, Quebec, Jennifer is pursuing her artistic career, which is very much separate but influenced by current politics and the rapid decline of the world in general.
Jennifer is the recipient of several grants and awards. In 2004, she was short-listed for the Atlantic region for the RBC National Painting competition. Her work has been supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, SODEC and the Conseil des arts et des letters du Quebec. Her paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada. She has taught at the University of Western Ontario, Dundas Valley School of Art and has a strong passion for advocating for the arts and has spent a notable amount of time on Parliament Hill.
Outer space has been a principal theme and background that has supported the narrative in my work. The premise that humankind has expanded outward is the launching pad from which other uncanny ideas spiral out. Motivated by a feeling of being disenchanted, and disillusioned by the world in which we live, I’ve created blueprints for future escape. Some space vessels are parade floats with greenhouses holding elaborate gardens. Some of the paintings depict living spaces, libraries, drive-in movie theatres, gardens and other familiar social spaces related to leisure/sport and entertainment.
My desire to underline the uncertain future of our planet is not meant as an explicit activist expression but rather that these are topics that inform the narrative within my work, to present ideas around customs and traditions while exploring pictorial space in the ever-challenging field of painting. Resins and paints are layered, glazed and meticulously used, to an extent where the fictional scenarios that hover in space are grounded in a ubiquitous reality, highlighting psycho-cultural tendencies in the world. The viewer is invited to be an anthropologist of this highly constructed universe.
- University of Western Ontario, MFA, 2001.
- University of Ottawa, BFA, 1998.
AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
- Canada Council for the Arts, Project Grant, 2014.
- SODEC, Programme: Artistes en arts visuels, Production d’œuvres d’art, 2014.
- Wiki Winner of the crowd-curated exhibition at Station Gallery, Whitby, Ontario, 2013. Canada Council for the Arts, Assistance to Visual Artists, Project Grant, 2011.
- CALQ, Production Grant, 2008.
- CALQ, Travel Grant, 2007.
- Canada Council for the Arts, Grant for Emerging Artists, 2005.
- Centre for Art Tapes, New Media Scholarship, 2004.
- Ontario Arts Council, Grant for Emerging Artists, 2003.
- Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Production Scholarship, 2002.
- Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance, 2002.
- University of Western Ontario, Graduate Research and Travel Grant, 2001. University of Western Ontario, Special University Scholarship, 1999-2001.
- University of Western Ontario, Graduate Tuition Scholarship, 1999-2001.
- University of Ottawa, Susanne Rivard Le Moyne Prize, 1998.
ART IN SOLO EXHIBITIONS
- Area Code, Station Gallery, Whitby, Ontario, 2014.
- Outer Space Living is Easy, Page and Strange, Halifax, NS, 2013.
- Outer Space Living is Easy, St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre, St.Thomas, ON, 2012.
- Sky Vessels, Harcourt House, Edmonton, AB, 2009.
- Sky Vessels, Forest City Gallery, London, ON, 2009.
- Sky Vessels, Eastern Edge, St.John's, NFLD, 2008.
- Sky Vessels, Art Space, Peterborough, ON, 2008
- Sky Vessels, Third Space Gallery, St.John, NB, 2007.
- Sky Vessels, La Centrale, Montreal, QC, 2007.
ART IN GROUP EXHIBITIONS
- The Old View from Nowhere, Paintings and drawings by David Poolman and Jennifer Dorner, Gallery 101, Ottawa, ON, 2014.
- The Old View from Nowhere, Paintings and drawings by David Poolman and Jennifer Dorner, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, Kingston, ON, 2014.
- The Old View from Nowhere, Peintures et dessins de David Poolman et de Jennifer Dorner, Espace F / Galerie d'art de Matane, Matane, QC, 2014.
- Art with Heart, Auction, Fundraiser, Toronto, ON, 2013.
- The Wiki Show, Station Gallery, Whitby, ON, 2013.
- Arena, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS, 2008.
- Mount Analog and Sky Vessels, (with Stephanie Aitkins) eyelevelgallery, Halifax, NS, 2007.
- The Process of Weeding Out (video screening), Video Pool, Winnipeg, MB, 2006.
- Stay Warm, Städelschule, Frankfurt, Germany, 2005.
- RBC National Painting Competition Exhibition, Edmonton, St.John, Toronto, 2004.
- So Far, So Good, YYZ Artist’s Outlet, Curated by Karma Clarke-Davis,Toronto, ON, 2003.
- Ed Video Medi Scholarship Exhibition, video: Jenny Mitchell Sings So Doggone Lonesome, Guelph, ON, July 2003.
- Channel, Perimeter Media Arts Festival, Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Guelph, ON, 2002.
- The Jennifer Show, Oakville Galleries, curated by Jenifer Papararo, Oakville, ON, 2002.
- Tot, Faculty Exhibition, UWO Artlab, London, ON, 2002.
- Sheridan College, Artist Lecture, Toronto, ON, 2013.
- National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Artists as Leaders, panelist, Minneapolis, MN, 2012. Eastern Edge Gallery, Artist Talk, St.John's, NFLD, 2008.
- Banff Centre for the Arts, Interactive Screen, panelist, 2007.
- Sessional Instructor, Visual Art Foundation Studies Program, Dundas Valley School of Art, McMaster University, Centre for Continuing Education. Courses: Time Based Studies, Drawing and Painting, Contextual Studies, 2002 – 2003.
- Sessional Professor, University of Western Ontario, Foundations of Visual Art, 2001-2002.
- Teaching Assistant, University of Western Ontario, Foundations of Visual Art, 2000-2001.
- Teaching Assistant, University of Western Ontario, Foundations of Visual Art, 1999-2000.
- Instructor, Department of Education, National Gallery of Canada, 1997-1998.
SELECTED WRITING and PUBLICATIONS
- Outer Space Living is Easy, The Rusty Toque: MASTHEAD: ISSUE 3: 2012. www.therustytoque.com/issue-3
- Street Level Conversations: On the Urban Interventions of Stephan Schulz: WI: JOURNAL OF MOBILE MEDIA, 2008, http://wi.hexagram.ca/?p=32
- Factual Errors and Fictional Truths, Catalogue Essay on the work of Richard Perkins, Cambridge Galleries, 2005. http://www.richardjamesperkins.com/reviewsessays/
- Life or Something Like It, Catalogue Essay, Centre for Art Tapes and Eye Level Gallery, 2005.
SELECTED REVIEWS and MEDIA
- “Outer Space Parade Floats with Greenhouses," CBC, Quebec AM, Mar. 2014. http://www.cbc.ca/player/AudioMobile/Quebec+AM/ID/...
- “Dorner seeks cosmic truths”, The Chronicle Herald, Mar. 2013.
- “Sky Vessels Lets Imaginations Soar”, Western Gazette, Feb. 2009.
- “Sailing the Seven Skies with Jennifer Dorner”, McGill Daily, Feb. 2007. “Vesseau Fantome”, Ici, Feb. 2007.
- Daily News, October 21, 2004.
- “Mom’s a Rock Star”, Echo Magazine, July 2003.
- “The Jennifer Show”, by Rosemary Heather, Canadian Art, Fall 2002.
- “Between Departure and Arrival”, Western News, September 3-7, 2001.
- “The Art of Everyday Objects”, by Sarah Parker, Scene Magazine, April 20-May 3 2000.
ADMINISTRATIVE & INSTITUTIONAL EXPERIENCE
- Director, FOFA Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, starting July 2014.
- National Director, Independent Media Arts Alliance, Montreal, QC, 2005-2013.
- Director/Curator, Eye Level Gallery, Halifax, NS, 2003-2004.
- Administrative Director, Forest City Gallery, London, ON, 2003.
- Assistant Director, Visual Art Foundation Studies, Dundas Valley School of Art, 2003-2003.
VOLUNTEER & PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
- Canadian Arts Coalition, Member of the Steering Committee, 2012-2014.
- Visual Arts Alliance, 2007 - 2013.
- Association of Artist Run Centres Atlantic, Founding Director, 2004.
- Artist Run Centre and Collectives Conference, Member of the Governing Council, 2004.
- Atlantic Provinces Art Galleries Association, Member, Membership Committee, 2004.
- Contemporary Arts Projects Society, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Member, 2003-2004.
- Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Member, 2004.
- Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Guelph, Ontario, Member, 2002-2004.
- Forest City Gallery, London, Ontario, Member, 2002-2004.
- Videographe, Montreal, QC, Member, 2005-2008.