For twenty-five years Teresa Jaynes has worked with grassroots and cultural organizations in Philadelphia. Through her various past roles as an executive director, educator, activist and artist she has acquired a high level of integrated skills. Chief among them is the ability to translate a big vision into manageable steps that engender ownership and build momentum. Jaynes's working method is to develop multiple platforms for expressing a complexity of ideas. Her projects often expand over a couple of years with different stages of research, learning a new craft and mapping out what eventually becomes a series of interrelated components that coalesce into an ambitious, highly nuanced work.
At the Rosenbach Museum & Library with her work "Red Maids". The artist coupled objects and text from the Rosenbach collections that spoke to the social mores of 19th century society. A canopy 240 red skirts engulfed the delicate sensibility of the selected objects displayed in vitrines at the edge of the room. Visitors lied down on the floor of the gallery to bask in the sumptuous, wall-to-wall, interlocking folds. Others wandered playfully lifting the skirts to read a provocative embroidered text. The theatrical higher plane gave way to a quiet and contemplative lower plane, more in keeping with small world of drawing rooms. Her installation, "Patriots", was presented at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1995 as part of the John Cage exhibition, Rolywholyover: A Circus. Jaynes crafted 8 tabor drums with laser sensors that "read" vibrations on the drumheads from visitor's footsteps on adjoining platforms. Amplified, the vibrations could be heard as a drum beat allowing participants to play the drums
An installation and book artist, Jaynes was a recipient of The Pew Fellowships in the Arts (1999) and an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony (1998 and 2002). She has received additional grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, The Independence Foundation, The Leeway Foundation and an Art Matters Artist Fellowship. Her installations have been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia Art Alliance and Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia and the Islip Art Museum in East Islip, NY. Jaynes has given artist talks at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Tyler School of Art and University of the Arts, among others. She was a panel participant on "Search/Research: Artists in the Archives" at the 2003 CAA conference in New York and in 2002 on "BANG! Contemporary Artists Collide with the Collections" for the Philadelphia Association of Special Libraries and Collections. More recently, Jaynes presented on "Philagrafika 2010" at New York University, Arts Education Masters Program and at the IMPACT International Print Conference, in Bristol, UK.
In her capacity as co-founder and executive director of Philagrafika, Ms. Jaynes provided the organizational leadership that set the artistic direction for the organization. Prior to Philagrafika, Teresa was the Exhibitions Director for the Philadelphia Folklore Project. Jaynes developed and curated exhibitions focused on cultural heritage and urban folk arts preservation. Similar to her studio practice, her working method is to develop projects that have multiple platforms to express a complexity of ideas. In 1999 Jaynes curated Folk Arts of Social Change. She based the exhibition on 3 years of fieldwork and interviewing more than 170 activists and artists. People lent a total of 600 hand-made objects and carefully saved memorabilia that embodied stories: of naming, of renewal and remembrance, of taking risks.
Jaynes has produced two limited edition artist books: A Wag's Progress, published by Pyramid Atlantic, Silver Springs, MD and The Last Favour, co-published by the Rosenbach Museum & Library and Borowsky Center for Publication Arts at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA. She is currently developing a limited edition artist book entitled, The Moon Reader, through a 2013 Artist Fellowship from The Independence Foundation.
Teresa Jaynes received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia.