Suncoast Artists Joan Libby Hawk and Jana Millstone Unveil Latest Color & Clay – Duet
Sarasota ceramist Joan Libby Hawk and painter Jana Millstone, who forged their Color & Clay – Duet art collaboration working remotely during the pandemic, relished the real life reveal of their latest two-medium creations – ceramics and painting – in WOMXN FOR ART at Mara Studio + Gallery. “The gallery’s white walls and natural light allowed us to create a series of integrated Color & Clay – Duet compositions,” said Jana. “We planned them around descriptive titles such as “Earth Echo” or “Tonal Notes.”
Joan Libby Hawk and Jana Millstone
Jana and Joan’s combinations of clay and painting explore the relationships of space, light and color. The interplay of two mediums draws viewers to the art shaped through collaboration. “We’ve really advanced our conversation between two artists working in two mediums,” Joan explains. “We like the challenge of bringing together different concepts and committed to experiment.”
The artists efforts expand as together they design projects moving the collaboration forward. Jana explains, “I can see us actually using the two mediums in a single work. In this very fractured period, Color & Clay – Duet presents a totally different approach – we connect ideas and put groupings together.”
Jana and Joan share a set of values that keeps the collaboration on track. Each seeks simplicity, clarity, emphasizes form and expression. In Joan’s words, “Everywhere you look, there’s so much visual overload. Our compositions offer an innovative visual place engaging the eye, the brain…a space to reflect a bit.”
The Mara Art Studio + Gallery recent opening, sponsored by the Halo Art Project, provided a welcome in-person opportunity to enjoy a distinctive collection of contemporary art, discuss ideas with friends and the artists. “Watching people interact with our work was a real treat,” said Jana. “It was great to really be there to answer questions or hear feedback.” ”Following so much isolation,” Joan added, “it all comes together when people gather.”
WOMXN FOR ART is on view until September 24th at Fifth Street, Sarasota, FL (941-914-8110). The Halo Arts Project recognized Jana Millstone and Joan Libby Hawk with a 2021 Fellowship Award for their COLOR AND CLAY – DUET collaboration.
About the Artists
Jana Millstone holds a BFA from Pratt Institute, with additional studies at Parsons
School of Design, The Art Students League, and F.I.T. She has exhibited in New York at Brooks Jackson Iolas Gallery, Porter Contemporary, Site-Brooklyn; at the Susquehanna Museum of Art, PA, as well as Sarasota’s Art Uptown Gallery. Having had career designing high-end consumer products, she ultimately served as Director of Design Concept for Lenox China. She is the Winner of the Society of Illustrators’ scholarship and has since won numerous awards including the state-wide Florida’s Finest first prize. Associations: FLAG, WCA, NLAPW and Petticoat Painters.
Joan Libby Hawk, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, studied at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, England and subsequently earned an MFA in ceramics from the City University of New York. Living abroad in Bangkok, Thailand and Phnom Penh, Cambodia provided a singular opportunity to study Asian art and ceramics. In 2017 she opened her Sarasota studio after a career in New York directing communications at NGOs, government and the United Nations promoting women’s human rights. She currently teaches ceramics at Suncoast Technical College, exhibits at Sarasota’s Art Uptown gallery and is a member of Women Contemporary Artists (WCA).
The Halo Arts Project has recognized Joan Libby Hawk and Jana Millstone with a 2021 Fellowship Award for their COLOR AND CLAY – DUET collaborative project.
Photos courtesy of Libby Hawk