Jamie Powell

Work by Jamie Powell. Tough Puff, acrylic and spray paint on dyed torn canvas.

Jamie PowellJamie Powell was born and raised in West Virginia. For the last decade New York City has been her home. Jamie received her MFA and the Paul Robeson Emerging Artist Award from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2006. She has exhibited extensively over the last ten years including: FLUXspace in Philadelphia, Soil Gallery in Seattle, Trestle Art Gallery in Brooklyn, Garis & Hahn, and Lesley Heller Workspace in New York. She has received grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and Pratt Institute. Since 2009 she has been a faculty member at Pratt Institute where she teaches painting and drawing. She lives and works in Queens, New York.  

Tell us what is exciting about your career and work right now. Why is it important to you?

Recently in 2015 I Co-Founded a 3000sq ft artist studio and gallery project space called Reservoir Art Space. It was a large undertaking and a tremendous amount of work, however the rewards have been ten-fold. I have a lovely private studio near my home and am part of an ever-growing community of artists. The supportive community coupled with the solitude of a private studio has propelled my work forward. I love the work I’m making now and thankfully I have been asked to be part of some very exciting exhibitions including Splotch at Lesley Heller Workspace that had additional venue at Sperone Westwater. This exhibition was especially important because I had the opportunity to exhibit amongst some of my art Heroes and Heroines such as Sol LeWitt and Linda Benglis as well as a stellar group of emerging and established artists. In addition to the exhibits a beautiful catalog was published with essays by the curator Eileen Jeng and art critic, curator, artist, writer, art historian, poet Robert C. Morgan.

What do you love the most about your job as an artist? Why?

Engaging in a rigorous studio practice that requires a lot of time and reflection is deeply rewarding way to live ones life. At times it feels as if I’m running on a different clock then our cultures, but I’m fine with that. Oh and I get to make my own hours.

Work by Jamie Powell. Oh No Let's Go, Acrylic and spray paint on dyed cut canvas.

Please tell us about how you chose this career path.

I can remember being amazed by drawing when four years old. Sounds cliché, but I was born this way, never really thought of doing anything else.

Tell us about your daily professional routine.

My studio is three blocks from my home. So now, if I have an hour before I teach I can swing by and have my morning cup of coffee while looking at my work. There is no trip, just a short walk. Also, it is over breaks from my teaching that I get a lot of studio work done. One staple that is consistent in my studio practice is drawing. I carry small sketchbooks with me everywhere, so on the train or any break I can sketch. The practice of drawing always keeps me engaged with my work. When I’m not teaching I spend many hours just in the studio, not always painting, but reading, reflecting and writing…whatever it takes to spur the work.

What’s happening with the art world and where do you think its heading?

I’m not a fan of making predictions . . . especially in this current climate. I will say that is an important time to be an artist and an even more important time to make art. Artists have the capacity to transform the world around us.

Could you give any advice to young aspiring artists?

Being an artist takes time, not weeks or months, but years to make good work. It takes time to develop one’s skills and it requires an unbreakable amount of commitment and a real devotion to one’s work. Always keep making.

Work by Jamie Powell. Mustache Flash, acrylic and spray paint on dyed torn canvas.


1. Tough Puff, Acrylic and spray paint on dyed torn canvas,  H 44.5"  x W 28" x D 7", 2016
2. Oh No Let's Go, Acrylic and spray paint on dyed cut canvas, 34" x 30", 2016
3. Mustache Flash,  Acrylic and spray paint on dyed torn canvas, H 50" x W 43" x D 3", 2016