Part 42: A "Pop UP" Digital Art Show For Jan Svetlik

Today is Tuesday, September 8, 2020. I'm going to do a "mid-week" art show right here on this blog for my mother, because the fires surrounding us have made the air so bad we've been advised not to go outside, and I need a project. Plus art saves us, doesn't it? My mother and sister live in areas that are even worse off than we are here in Seattle, and although I've heard from my sister, (she may have to evacuate the area) I haven't heard from my mother in 24 hours. I'm worried. I'm also worried about how silly people are. Most forest fires are caused by human carelessness, and it's really depressing.


Last night, as the air got really bad in the Pacific Northwest, my friend Mark told us that his neighbors carried on with their planned BBQ, smoking up the whole block. Today, Mark's house and car are covered with cinders.


Let's take a break and look at some curated images, although I think the quality is poor with the slide scanned images, so I might go back later with help enhancing these.


We just got all her slides and we've been scanning them so she has digital files. Some of the photographs could be better, but here they are. Several of my mother's large paintings went missing after she put them in the care of a gallery in Ojai, California. She never got the money from the sales, and she never got her work back. Back then, bad luck swirled around us like a swarm of locusts. On top of that, the art world was, back then, extremely sexist. Often people thought "Jan" was a man. In the 1970s, Jan had an agent named Howard Lichtner. He was an older man, Jewish, born in Austria and his entire family died in concentration camps. Mr. Lichtner, as I called him, understood my mother, and he was a huge support system for her work, as he had a large and beautiful gallery near all the shops in Ventura, California. He got a a write up for my mother in the Los Angeles Times for her opening. I'll try to find that article. Anyway, after a few years of building my mother's career and reputation, Mr. Lichtner had a heart attack and died. She never had another agent so dedicated to her as an artist.


Below is a photograph (poor quality...) of a painting that sold based on a series she did, "The Sun Hat Series" which I modeled for as a teenager. I didn't consider it a painting of me at all, even though it's based on a photograph she took of me at age 15. I felt like a handy model, as my mom was and is fairly reclusive, and she didn't exactly have a group of models to chose from. Anyway I might upgrade the quality of these photos later. The artist medium is oil on canvas. Most are 24" by 36" or around that size.

Oopsie, this is a better one. Slide was facing the wrong way. I knew something was off.



Another shot of a scanned slide. I think I was around ten years-old when she painted this.

Since the quality of the scanned slides might be low, here are some photographs I just snapped, for your viewing pleasure. The one below is from Jan Svetlik's "Sun Hat Series".


Below, a painting she did when we were living in Hollywood called "Sunset" or maybe "Sunset and Vine" but I"ll double check that, soon. I sold a commission of this one, after a client (I had a gallery for several years) and wanted the same painting with blue tones. Unfortunately, I didn't photograph the one I sold. It was stunning. This one is in my house.

Below, a painting by Jan Svetlik of her daughter, Lisa, my older half sister. I think she painted this in 1984. Not sure though. When I can get a hold of my mother (power might be out because of the smoke where she is) I'll go back and fact check all of this.

Below is a painting that my mother did after she moved to Eastern Washington. David and I purchased this one after a show I hung for her. The painting is called "Eleven" and the artist wanted to capture that awkward age when the head is bigger than the body. We love this painting. I just took a horrible iPhone snap, I realize that. Boo on me. But I'll replace it soon. I have to work today and squeezing this in.

One I've posted before, a painting Jan did of Riley when they were together. Either 1978 or early 1979? I'm not sure. That's it for today. Thank you for attending my impromptu pop up art show.

I'll do more soon. Stay safe. Get alerts on air quality. Teach your kids about forest fires and what causes them.

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©2020 by Stacya Silverman.

All photos on this site were taken by Thomas Schworer or David Hiller unless otherwise noted.