Jennifer Pazienza was born in Newark, New Jersey. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she began making art as a child in her mother’s kitchen. She received a Bachelor of Education degree in Art from William Paterson College in 1976. After graduation, she moved to Pennsylvania where she taught art in grades K through 12 until returning to university to complete a Master of Art Education in 1985 and a Doctorate of Philosophy in 1989 at Pennsylvania State University. She credits her supervising professor, Brent Wilson, as her inspiration for becoming an artist/educator. Her painting professor, artist Richard Mayhew, has had the greatest influence on her artwork. In 1984 he suggested she switch from a tonal approach and an emphasis on Payne’s Gray to a colourist palette. She has painted this way ever since.
In 1987-88, she taught art education at Texas Tech University, where she also learned to blow glass. The following year she moved to the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. But it was the University of New Brunswick, with its promise of academic freedom and its high regard for artistic forms of teaching and research that won her heart. So, in 1989 with an offer she could not refuse, she joined the Faculty of Education. She has contributed, particularly, to building graduate studies in art education, the development of the Bachelor of Applied Arts and the Fine Arts minor, the creation of the Eaton Multimedia Centre and the initiation of the interdisciplinary program at Renaissance College.
Pazienza has worked as a research consultant for the Getty Centre for Arts Education, the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, and the Museum of Civilization. She has presented scholarly papers at conferences in Canada, the US and Europe. She has written reports, research proceedings, articles, book reviews, and chapters in books and has served as critic and juror for other artists/ scholar’s work while maintaining a studio and exhibition practice.
Dr. Pazienza worked with Sicilian artisans at Artigianato del Sole in 2005, which resulted in a commissioned ceramic tile panel for Azienda Agricola Alcala. During Canada’s celebration of its Fine Craft tradition, she served as artist/ educator in residence at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery interpreting contemporary and historical craft objects in paintings. She returned to Alcala and her Italian roots again in the spring of 2007 to paint a mural that celebrates Sicilian citrus and its craft tradition – majolica ceramics.
Updated Aug 7, 2014