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Janet Maya

Painter

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345 Railroad Ave

Bridgeport, CT 06604

A Bit About Janet

Janet Maya’s paintings center on issues of race, gender, sexual acceptance, and socio-economic equality. Her art juxtaposes rich black, brown and white silhouettes against colorful backgrounds in boldly simple compositions. Texture is added to give a tactile quality to the surface and form is softly abstracted. With barely delineated facial features, her figures evoke questions about identity and characteristics hidden behind facades.  Maya uses stance, posture, and attitude to convey the grounded nature and confrontational aspects of each figure; at the same time, her use of abstracted form leaves them open to varied interpretations. Cultural diversity sparking from from her Colombian, Irish and English heritage progressively becomes apparent.

Many life experiences have influenced Maya’s work. Her artistically inclined mother, intensely encouraged her to evolve in the arts. Her father collected art when he did business in Nigeria and other regions. Early on, she learned about artists of the famed Oshogbo School which arose in the newly independent Nigeria of the early 1960's. A Nigerian friend lived with Maya’s family in the States while she attended Mary Mount College and the friend’s stories of home and her spirituality fascinated the artist. When attending New York’s School of Visual Art, Maya often went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, finding inspiration in the African exhibits that were straightforward in expressing the sex of female and male.

Global politics is of life-long interest that began when her father engaged with regions that were in the midst of revolutionary turmoil. Exposed to political uprise in other countries, the fight for basic freedoms has been part of her life. Growing up through the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War has added to her work as well. An additional impetus to Maya’s art is her spiritual connection to life. As well, inner strength is a major theme throughout, though it is joined with an understanding of ever-present vulnerability to outside conventions.

BIO 

Janet Maya American, born New York 1962

Education 

School of Visual Arts, New York, NY 1983-1986

SUNY Empire State College, NY 2013

Exhibitions

September 8, 2022 Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut

December 5, 2021 Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut

2020 Marquee Projects, Bellport, New York

2022 Marquee Projects, Bellport, New York

Scope Art Fair, New York (upcoming)

2019 Art Miami, Miami, Florida

2018 Dovecote, Westport, Connecticut

2017 Dovecote, Westport, Connecticut 

2016 Nyack, New York

2012 Office of the Governor of the State of New York, Washington D.C.

2003 University at Albany, State University of New York

Consulate, New York, New York

2000-01 City Hall, Jersey City, New Jersey

1999 Wizard World Comic Con, Chicago, Illinois 

1998 Wizard World Comic Con, Chicago, Illinois

Special Projects/Commissions

PSA (Domestic Violence Services) Dutchess County, New York 

State of New York, documentary

State of New Jersey, documentary

Scenic Design

Music Videos (various artists)

Showtime at the Apollo

Motion Picture and Brand/Corporate film & video (Michelin, Verizon New York Times, Nickelodeon)

Teaching/Workshops

The Summit School, Nyack, New York

YMCA, New York

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