On this episode of Resounds: Arts and Culture on the High Plains, co-hosts Corby Skinner and Anna Paige talk with artist Jennifer Eli French, whose mixed-media installation "This Vibrant, Tarnished World" is a response to the themes of nostalgia and longing in Station Eleven, a dystopian novel by Emily St. John Mendel. Station Eleven is a part of the National Endowment for the Arts The Big Read Program.
Born in Colorado, Jennifer Eli French and moved frequently while growing up but always spent summers on her family ranch in Montana. After attending high school in England, she earned a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. She returned to live and work in Montana in 2013. French derives inspiration from the worlds of Medieval art, Victoriana, the Western landscape, and “the strange beauty she finds in the darker corners of history” to create her intricately painted skulls, surreal paintings, and installations. She is represented by the Stapleton Gallery in Billings.
Emily St. John Mandel's novel, Station Eleven, won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award, , and was named one of the best books of the year by more than a dozen publications.
An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery.