Throughout her artistic explorations, Jean Arnold has been visually engaged with how humans impact the land around her. Originally from the Northwest’s Palouse region, its unique rolling hills inspired Jean artistically from a young age. Its sinuous contours influenced Jean to engage a biomorphic sensibility, and its abstract qualities influenced her to abstract from observation in her work.
Arnold earned her MFA from Northern Vermont University (previously Johnson State College), in conjunction with the Vermont Studio Center, where she received guidance from many artistic luminaries.
While in graduate school, she had the good fortune of having Nicolas Carone as an instructor in Italy at the International School of Art (ISA). A legendary teacher, Carone was an original member of the New York Abstract Expressionist scene, a founding faculty member of the New York Studio School, and founder of ISA. The Italian landscape inspired her and resonated with her own visual experiences of the Palouse.
After graduate school, she chose to work with the urban landscape (while moving through it via mass transit) for almost a decade. Then, her growing concerns about human impacts on the planet – while also living near one of the largest pit mines in the world in Salt Lake City – led her to work with large-scale mining imagery, a direction she continues to work with.