Jari Chevalier

Mixed Media Collage Inlays

 Genetic Fortune
American Legacy  

Mathematics of Ecstasy

After gaining national and international recognition for writing lyrical, sensuous, visceral and imagistic poetry, Jari Chevalier became fascinated with creating imagery of another kind. Working with paint, x-acto knives and an extraordinary variety of paper, she began creating nonverbal poems through an unusual and meditative process of carefully inlaying cut pieces onto canvas.

In her early childhood she was introduced to Eastern philosophy through her parents' interest in the teachings of J. Krishnamurti. Later, she began practicing Insight Meditation and yoga. She spent six months traveling and teaching in Japan, India and Thailand. These experiences, her background as a poet, and her abiding fascination with advances in science, prompt her artistic expression and inform her aesthetic.

Using papers from around the world, sometimes painted, printed, or distressed by the artist, and including international currency, Chevalier's inlaid collages repeatedly pose the questions: Who and where are we? Is there a beginning or end? Is there a layer or level that is in charge more than any other? Birds, flames, stars, veins, radar beams, strands of DNA, a chaos of competing forms falls within a simple grid. These images and forms clamor for space and interrupt each other to form the larger picture. On closer inspection they have been x-acto-cut to fit into one another. They are pieces in a puzzle of geometric and organic forms both mysterious and predictable. In a global picture such as ours, these questions are at the heart of a need for cooperation to solve the puzzle of making a functional and sustainable world.

Jeri Chevalier holds a Master's degree in creative writing from City College of New York and a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in writing and literature from Columbia University. She has served on the faculty of the State University of New York at Purchase and Antioch University in Santa Barbara, California.