Artist Statement

I enjoy arranging things. Always have. Furniture in a dollhouse, junk in a drawer, words on a page. Surprisingly, my approach to collage is not organized or predictable. Starting with a word or image for inspiration, I rely on intuition as I select, cut, arrange, and paste found materials to create something new. Order from chaos. Working without a plan pushes me beyond my comfort zone. Collage gives me the courage to embrace spontaneity. My work is about composition, color, and the relationship of images that come together to offer a story or capture a mood. The title of the piece is also part of the narrative. Creating art is a gift that allows me to communicate across language barriers and engage in a visual conversation that builds relationships. My intention is to create a moment so viewers can enter another world to smile, connect, and wonder.

Artist Bio

A lifelong collector of interesting papers and mixed media, Jennifer Gatz is a collage artist from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since 2017, she has been exploring analog collage, working exclusively with paper, scissors, and glue. A weekend collage workshop in 2018 and the daily word prompts of Februllage 2019 motivated her to make collage a regular habit. The quiet concentration of collage is a form of self-care that allows her to enter a meditative flow of spontaneous creativity. As the daughter of a banker and an artist, Jen is firmly planted in two worlds – left brain and right brain, practical and creative, logical and intuitive. She considers herself a creative problem solver whether she is organizing words on a page, arranging interior furnishings, or assembling cut paper into collage. One thing she does not arrange is music, though she enjoys playing the piano and mandolin.

Jen holds a BS degree in Art and Interior Design from Valparaiso University. Her work experience includes retail store display, graphic design, communications, volunteer coordination, home staging, and marketing. Her collage work has been published in Cut Me Up Magazine (2022), Women United Art Magazine (2023), and Wilder Roam (2023). She has exhibited at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2022 + 2021; South Haven Center for the Arts in South Haven, Michigan, 2023; Box Factory in St. Joseph, Michigan, 2023 + 2022; Pour-d in Rockford, Michigan, 2023 + 2022; Kalamazoo Book Arts Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2024 + 2022; National Collage Society, 2021; Vayo Collage Gallery in Rochester, New York, 2022 + 2021 + 2020; Studio 659 in Whiting, Indiana, 2021; Gallery Uptown in Grand Haven, Michigan, 2021; Lost and Found Gallery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2020.