Jen Buckler Suraj: Rising Sun Acrylic paint on wood panel 24 x 18 NFS
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
“Creating some type of balance between chaos and order has been an essential vehicle for my artwork. Recently, I have been combining acrylic pouring with portraiture. The act of acrylic pouring represents a sense of chaos for me with its free flow style that cannot be easily controlled. It offers me a sense of freedom, release, experimentation, and expression that allows me to let go of perfectionism. The portraiture represents a sense of order with more analytical planning and execution of line, color, shape, and shading. It offers me an opportunity to connect more with my audience with a clearer form of communication that can be more readily accessible. The content of my artwork, whether representational or abstract, is usually inspired by my life experiences and as a result becomes a therapeutic tool for me to express my thoughts and feelings. My art has helped facilitate my personal growth and awareness. I am forever grateful for the use and inspiration of art in my life.” “This portrait was made in honor and memory of my family member and close friend, Suraj Mahadeva, who was shot and killed in Chicago in 2021 at the age of 26. Suraj was half Filipino and half Sri Lankan. His name Suraj means Rising Sun in Hindi. He was a proud member of the LGBTQ community. The motive of the shooting and the gunman is unknown. It has been a tremendous and tragic loss for Suraj’s family and friends. He was a kind and talented dancer whose mission was to help people, make others laugh, and inspire. I miss him every day. This painting helped me process my grief and express my love for him.” About Jen Buckler
Jen Buckler received her BA in Art from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio with a concentration in painting in 2009. Jen received her MA in Art Therapy Counseling from Marylhurst University near Portland, Oregon in 2011. She has practiced art therapy counseling and exhibited her artwork in Chicago, Illinois since 2011. In 2013, Jen joined a Chicago-based Filipino artist collective known as Escolta Street Snatchers Social Club, where she explored her Filipino roots more deeply through art. In 2015, Jen participated as a selected artist in the Field Museum’s “Art & Anthropology: Portrait of the Object as Filipino” exhibit that highlighted Filipino Artists and the museum’s Philippine artifact collection. Her artwork has been displayed at spaces in Columbus, Portland, and Chicago that include Roy G Biv Gallery, Streff Gallery, Robert Jeffrey Studio, Co-prosperity Sphere, Box Gallery, and the Field Museum.
Jen is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Board-Certified Art Therapist. From 2016-2019, Jen served as the Multi-Cultural & Diversity Co-Chair and Ethics Chair of the Illinois Art Therapy Association. Jen has 12 years of experience providing art therapy counseling for children, teens, and adults in a variety of professional settings including a behavioral health hospital, a residential rehabilitation school, outpatient clinic, and private practice. She strives to provide a safe space for individuals to practice artmaking as a means of self-expression, relaxation, and mindfulness. Jen values the creative process as a source of insight and healing that can be used towards positive change and self-empowerment.