Zoe Alowan: “First Women of Jazz” and “Ecstatic Grace”

Ella Fitzgerald

    Zoe Alowan invokes the beautiful colors of Matisse and Mondrian while also delivering a Reductionist’s boldness. Using large rhythmic strokes Zoe Alowan depicts the shimmer and swinging vitality of the First Ladies of Jazz, one of her favorite subjects. Painting since a child and with an Oberlin art degree, she also helped establish the Manifesto of Reductionism along with other artists from the Grass Valley Graphics Group. Her art has graced the venues of hundreds of renowned jazz musicians. Wynton Marsalis, Brandford Marsalis, Herbie Hancock and others have preformed alongside her monumental jazz paintings at International Association for Jazz Educators (IJAE) events from 2003 to 2008.     Also showing by Zoe Alowan are selections from her “Ecstatic Grace” collection inspired by traditional Devadasi Sadir. Traditional Devadasi Sadir is the sacred temple dance of South India. For hundreds of years these dances were performed as daily temple punja (ceremony) by Devadasi women. Using a language of gesture and complex steps, the dancer surrenders her identity to become the vehicle for the expression of ecstatic grace.