Jan Brandt is an artist working in mixed media, textiles, printmaking, and painting. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, both from Illinois State University in Normal, IL. She is the owner of Jan Brandt Gallery in Normal, IL, and has curated Visiting Artist Exhibitions since 2012. Brandt’s work has been shown in San Francisco and Davis, CA, Chicago and surrounding areas, New York City, Oberlin, OH, Indianapolis and Evansville, IN, Boston, MA, Champaign- Urbana, and Peoria, IL as well as in her local community of Bloomington-Normal, IL. Her work has been exhibited digitally in three Venice Biennales and once in The Bienal de La Habana through the Boston Biennial Project.
Brandt’s work has been selected for many print and online publications, including Create Magazine, Studio Visit, and Creative Quarterly. Her installation work was featured in The Illinois State Museum Galleries of Lockport and Springfield. In 2018, Brandt’s Happy Contagion was exhibited at The Boston Biennial V at Atlantic Works Gallery as The First Prize Winner in the Installation Category. In 2020, she was part of a three-person show, “Prism,” at the McLean County Arts Center 2020. Her solo exhibition, “Hothouse” was on exhibit at The Contemporary Art Center of Peoria in the summer of 2021. Her work was included in the Champaign-Urbana, IL Boneyard Art Festival in 2020 and 2022. During the Fall of 2022, Brandt’s work was included in the juried Illiart exhibition at Gallery 7 in Lockport, Il as well as 1868- The Exhibition, Busey Bank Wealth Management Group, Urbana, IL. Brandt’s solo exhibition “Botanica Imaginaria” was shown January - February 2023 at Water Street Studios in Batavia, IL. She will exhibit at the Anne Lloyd Gallery, Decatur, IL in April 2023, and in Ottawa, IL’s Open Space Gallery Fall of 2023.
From my childhood spent on a farm, punctuated with visits to arboretums and botanical gardens, to the many hours now spent tending my garden, the higher dimensional hand-cut and sewn fiber installations I create have grown out of a lifelong fascination with the seemingly otherworldly realm of plant life. The use of abstract interpretations of botanical themes underscores my interest in both naturally occurring and personal expressions of growth. Utilizing sewing methods taught by my mother and grandmother as a child, I hand-form petals, vines, and leaves, oftentimes using thrifty and gifted materials. The abundantly bountiful dome-shaped sculptures recall the nurturing teachings of my mother and grandmother, while also allowing for a sense of surreal, childlike wonder and understanding of nature.