Jennifer Balkan

Gallery Affiliations: Wally Workman Gallery, Principle Gallery, Art Jingle Contemporary, Eleanor Ettinger Gallery, Elliot Fouts Gallery

Region: West


City / State: Austin, TX

I've always loved to draw and spent much of my time as a child doodling. I grew up in one of the countless suburbs of New Jersey in between the Holland Tunnel and the Jersey Shore spawning my obsession with the Ferris wheel, arcade games and other Boardwalk decadence. I studied behavioral neuroscience at Lehigh University. Later I journeyed to Seattle via Boulder where I found people not afraid to speak their minds, while working in a rat lab. In Seattle, I worked serving the mentally ill and developmentally disabled population. I was pulled to Austin to study Latin American sociology at the University of Texas. I attained my Ph.D. in 2001 after conducting anthropological fieldwork on human migration in Chiapas, Mexico. Although my experience in Mexico was rich, I longed for artistic creativity. In 2002, I quit my full-time job doing social scientific research and threw myself into oil painting. I realize that my time studying the human psyche both psychologically and sociologically must have left its imprint on my brain permanently...because I cannot seem to stray too far from it in my painting.