Jennifer Wynne Reeves: A Prayer for the Art World

Sad news: gifted painter Jennifer Wynne Reeves died yesterday at 51 after a relentless onslaught of tumors in her brain. Represented by BravinLee Programs, Reeves posted this prayer to the art world on her Facebook page in April.  

[Image: Jennifer Wynne Reeves, Grace Boat, 2013, gouache, wire, string and cloth on hard molding paste on paper, 10 x 12 inches.]

If, BIG IF, I don�t live another
year, my prayer for you, for the art world, is that creatives banish
doubts about breakthroughs because if we can�t imagine Pollock or Polke
breakthroughs are possible we won�t have them and won�t be able to see
them. Artists are not merely subordinates of the market place. We
explore space in undefined delta quadrants. There�s plenty of time to
find them as long as our minds stay open as long as we welcome

WELCOME invention, preserve our Klingon fight, admire our
grooved foreheads and dog teeth. It will keep us alive for longer than
is thought possible. Over a hundred years ago, Mary Baker Eddy wrote,
�We must look deep into realism instead of only accepting the outward
sense of things.� Beautiful. Making and buying art for the market place
is the same as dumping the warp core; bad for the star ship Voyager; bad
for those warring Klingon AbExers. Don�t worry. We can do it again. Visuals are exceedingly variable, each one a mathematical equation,
reproducible, logical, Vulcan, spiritually relevant and applicable to
the limits of paint.

If life goes on after death, if those who died
before visit the dead who already died, then I�ll be asking every artist
I meet in the beyond how you�re all faring in your unique missions and
expecting excellent reports. Please don�t disappoint. I have faith in
you because individuality is as infinite as snowflakes and that means
your creativity is, too. The Borg don�t exist. Humanity does. Resistance
is achievable. Assimilation impossible.

 Jennifer Wynne Reeves, Untitled (It’s Good to Have Hair), 2012, gouache, wire, pencil, hair on primed paper, 11 x 15 inches. Collection of Isabella Hutchinson and Diego Gradowczyk.

According to her uncle, a memorial celebration of Reeves’s life will be held in NYC in the near future.


Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. For permission to use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.


  1. So sorry to hear of her passing. SO glad to read these words! I will print them out and post them in my studio right next to my Star Trek poster!

  2. Jennifer I so hope there will be many artists to talk to where you are …the conversations we have had have been fuel that has kept a bigger fire burning and you will always be in the studio with me.

  3. A big loss. Thank you for posting her words and work.

  4. Beautiful. See you in artist heaven Jennifer. And I have one more person to paint for now.

  5. So sorry to hear. A big loss, not just for her family and loved ones, but for anyone with eyes.

  6. Just found this and am delighted with the message from the great beyond. I will do my best not to dissapoint.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *