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2016 Ashland Gallery

J. Ashland Gallery Guide 57 I N M E M O R I A M Jane Ellen Gilson Austin ELLEN made an entrance to every event, sophisticated, but with a ready smile and wink. She loved creating new ventures, supporting talent young and old in her community. She helped to guide Ashland’s distinction as a “Top 10 Small Town for Art in the U.S.” in the 1990’s. Her JEGA Gallery and Sculpture Garden drew art-savvy people for over twenty years. Artists from as far as Asia and Australia exhibited in her JEGA Gallery. Her own paintings and sculptures are exhibited in private homes and businesses globally. She helped to establish the trendy “Ashland Historic Railroad District,” designing, building and managing gallery-residence units, one being her own gallery. She bought property from the Railroad in 1993 and realized her vision of a triplex where artists could live above their studios and exhibit there. She was a founding member of the Ashland Gallery Association and the Ashland Railroad District Association, continuing to manage her own art gallery until 2015. JEGA’s most popular artist’s exhibits were, “Women With Attitude and Men who Love Women With Attitude!” “Send in the Clowns!” “Salon Des Refuses,” “Jefferson State Sculptors,” “High School Student Show,” “Flights of Fancy,” and exhibits from her travels in Europe and Asia. J. Ellen’s upbringing and education, graduate and post graduate, were on the East coast where she and her late husband, Stuart, and their four daughters where born. Her business experiences varied widely. Secretary/ Librarian Botany Dept. UNC Chapel Hill; Aviation Sales GE, Schenectady; Supervisor, Management GE, Syracuse; and New Canaan, CT where she was founding member of the Arts Council and Waveny Arts Center. She was founder and director of Adaptive Resources, holistic health and education centers in Connecticut and California. While in CA she got her realtors license, and was a docent at the Newport Harbor Art Museum. Her diverse background, travels, and work in art psychotherapy culminated in J. Ellen’s reinvention of herself as an art therapist, painter, and finally sculptor. J. Ellen’s many travels brought her to a love of creating stone and multimedia sculptures, studying with Italian stone masters. Her artwork and sculpture reflected metaphors for the feminine desire for creativity, to risk and open up, to view from a different perspective. She explored femininity, myths and mysteries; a woman’s right for control of her own body. J. Ellen looked at her sculpture as an intimate, ongoing dialogue involving discovery and experimentation in symbols, harmony and hope. She created her favorite sculpture from Italian translucent alabaster entitled, “Opening Up To New Perspectives!” To experience other ways of seeing and being through the world of the arts was her aim. And her advice: open to new perspectives through the arts, take responsibility for the kind of world view we make. July 1, 1925 –November 3, 2015 Artist, stone sculptor, JEGA Gallery owner, visionary, entrepreneur, pioneer, activist, role model, rebel, debutante, feminist, learned and athletic, traveler, wife, mother of four, grandmother of two— dedicated to learning, growing, giving and laughing. c


2016 Ashland Gallery
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