Local Artist Jenna Cook Talks Process & Professional Plans
After a short stint in Chicago, Jenna Cook has returned to the Geist area. Motivated by a desire to be close to family during the pandemic, the local artist has put down roots around the people who inspire her. Her unique works are also influenced by her interpretation of current and world events. Each multilayered piece represents hours of intense creative effort, resulting in a truly one-of-a-kind artistic production.
“I am self-taught,” Cook says. “My art background started when my mom taught me how to make paper. My first experience with all sorts of art mediums was when I was young and my parents signed me up for an art class in the neighborhood. Growing up, we had a craft room right off of the kitchen. My parents and siblings were always coming up with projects that involved paper, shirts and paintings.”
Cook’s art can be found in private collections in Chicago, Florida, Georgia, Los Angeles and New York. Using mostly acrylics but also oil and watercolors, she prefers working by commission, but also sells pieces from her website. Her work typically commands prices ranging from around $100 to more than $5,000, and she is currently developing a line of prints and gift items offered at accessible prices under the brand Art By Marley’s Mom.
Cook’s abstracts, landscapes and portraits are vibrant with color. Some of her large commissioned works come with time-lapse videos of her process. Her smallest canvases are 8”x10”, and her largest, a 4’x18’ life-size race car, hangs inside Daniel’s Vineyard, her family’s business.
Until June of 2019, when she left to focus on her art full time, Cook served as a wine maker at Daniel’s Vineyard. She shaped the brand of the winery, creating signature designs and packaging. The label on the company’s Riveter Rosé won Label Design of the Year at the 2019 Indy International Wine Competition. Another acclaimed label crafted by Cook is titled “Circle of Lights,” featuring downtown Indianapolis. Several pieces of Cook’s art hang on the walls of the vineyard facility, and contribute to its energy and upscale atmosphere.
“I’ve learned in this last year that I have the ability to move the eye beyond the vibrancy of the surface of each piece I create,” Cook says. “With each piece, it’s my goal for one to begin to imagine the depth of the layers beneath the final piece, especially after watching some of my art time-lapse videos.”
Cook has a history of donating works to charity fundraisers. Throughout 2020, she donated pieces to organizations for auctions during their events. In the last 12 months, her gifts of art raised a combined total of more than $22,000.
“I love my nieces and nephews, and get a huge inspiration seeing the world from their point of view,” Cook says. “I’ll never forget how proud I felt with each elementary art project I completed. With the pandemic and wanting to be close to family, I am opening up a multi-use space that will function as a studio, gallery, and place for youth classes, besides private lessons for all ages.”
Cook says each piece of art she creates holds emotion.
“Our days, at all ages, revolve around our interpretations to make sense of what is happening in the world around us,” she says. “That carries over into each piece I create. I’ve found my happiness in the process.”
For more info on Jenna Cook’s artwork, visit JennasArt.com.