Sacred Glass: The Wat Chong Klang Project• $10 for the public, FREE for Friends of the Crow Collection
About the Lecture
Austin artist Judy Jensen first visited Mae Hong Son, Thailand in 2000. She was drawn by a brief mention in a guidebook about 19th-century Wat Chong Klang, a Buddhist temple, which houses a collection of 180 Burmese reverse paintings on glass. Enamored with the lively boldness of the paintings, each depicting tales of the Buddha’s life and his previous incarnations, Jensen returned 5 years later. To her dismay, a number of the paintings had been either irreparably damaged or completely destroyed by the December 2004 earthquake.
Jensen left Thailand with the glimmer of an idea: that she could help. Her professional artistic process was reverse painting on glass, large undertakings weren’t new to her, and this was a cultural site deeply in need of an expert hand. The idea grew, and eventually became reality.
Since late 2012, Jensen has been making new glass paintings for the temple, delivering and donating them, to replace those destroyed. Although she considered the project quiet in scope, to her surprise it created ripples of interest and involvement far beyond what she had anticipated. Jensen will be discussing the touching generosity and remarkable coincidences which have propelled her undertaking, as well as the rewarding physical, spiritual, and artistic challenges involved.
Judy Jensen Biography
Judy Jensen has exhibited widely. Solo venues include eight exhibits with New York’s Heller Gallery, the Galveston Arts Center, The Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts, and Brendan Walter Gallery in Los Angeles. Group exhibitions include Gerald Peters Gallery in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., Atlanta’s High Museum, the New Delhi Biennale, Chicago’s Navy Pier, The Detroit Institute of Arts, and The Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in Japan.
A National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant recipient, her works are in numerous public and private collections, including Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, McDonald’s Corporate Art Collection, Austin/Bergstrom International Airport and the Washington Art Consortium. In 2013, Jensen received a grant for the Wat Chong Klang Project from the James H. W. Thompson Foundation in Bangkok. She lectured about her project at the Bangkok National Museum in October, 2014.
Photo by Ave Bonar