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Jane Caminos Narrative Painter of Women “Violence against women isn’t cultural, it’s criminal.” Jane Caminos grew up in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey and received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1969. She worked in the book publishing trade in Boston and New York for a number of years as both an art director and in management before establishing an independent design and illustration studio which focused on book, magazine, game, puzzle, stationery and gift wrap projects, as well as corporate work such as annual reports, newsletters, and identity packages for clients in the professions. Caminos has long been a painter, and because she is also an illustrator with the spirit of the raconteur, narrative themes have been a favorite. Her first exhibitions were in the Boston area, where she built a reputation for her depictions of women from former generations, often discovered in family albums. This body of work does not simply clone photographs, it allows the subjects to expand their stories with the inclusion of an assortment of “props” from animals to a variety of foods, such as fried eggs or pasta, perhaps shrimp floating in the air, set in lush , decorative landscapes. The heavy use of saturated color and pattern recall her influences: Matisse, Gauguin, Rousseau, Klimt, Merkin and tribal Africa. Several years ago, in tears after watching a PBS documentary about the violence and lack of freedom endured by women around the world, she determined to use her art as a voice of protest. “I believe it’s the responsibility of artists to use their talent as a means of changing the world for the better,” Caminos says. And so began a major collection, “On Women Bound”, which explores violence against women and girls across all cultures. “It would be an easy matter to choose horrific scenes that shock and disgust, but with respect for suffering women, I’ve decided to choose a more mannered approach. Although many of the paintings carry a narrative that can be uncomfortable to deal with, the messages must express the command that these gender specific crimes can no longer be ignored.” Jane continues to explore the themes that penetrate the lives of women less fortunate than we are, and in our own lives as well, lest we forget that whether violence is physical or manifests as emotional abuse, it doesn’t discriminate between cultures or social classes. Until every woman and girl is safe, each of us carries the weight of their pain. “When paintings from the series are exhibited, it’s with the goal in mind of sparking dialogue among viewers about the stories they’re seeing. It’s my hope that the message will then be carried out to others and positive change will occur through increased awareness.” In November of 2016, Jane left New Jersey and a group of established artists, the New Art Group, with whom she regularly exhibited paintings from the OWB Series and work involving an assortment of subjects from the lives of women. She’s settled outside Seattle, where she continues to expand the On Women Bound Series, and gentler themes, making new connections within the activist artist community, curators, and social media. In July, 2018 she happily joined Fogue Studios and Gallery, the Seattle collective for established Artists over 50.
I believe that artists have a responsibility to enrich their cultures. The aim of On Women Bound is to increase awareness of crimes against women, be they a world away or an instance of domestic violence in a couple’s kitchen. I want the paintings to start a dialogue, which will be carried from an exhibition out to others