JENNIFER EWING: Artist-in-Residence, at the de Young Museum

“Spirit Boat Directions”, January 5th—30th, in the Kimball Education Gallery

By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

 The de Young Museum hosts Jennifer Ewing: Spirit Boat Directions, January 5–30, 2011, as part of the Artist-in-Residence Program in the Kimball Education Gallery. Jennifer Ewing is a Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco staff artist, muralist and teacher. Since 2005 she has used the theme of “Spirit Boats” as a metaphor for her own journey in paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures and installations. Throughout the month of January, the Artist Studio is divided up into four themes: water, air, fire and earth. The west wall is symbolic of water and supports a spirit boat harbor. Boats hung in space to the north represent the element of air. The east wall features paintings and drawings with the spirit of fire, while the south represents the element of earth and hosts a sculpture that connects the earth and the air. Each boat is unique and made for solitary travel. Visitors are encouraged to explore their own paths by making boats in the form of a drawing, collage or sculpture.

EGYPTIAN. 26″ x 4″ x 6″

15″ x 6″ x 2″

Ewing explains, “For me a spirit boat represents healing, as a vehicle for passage into a more peaceful and comforting place, hope, as a life boat in a storm, and taps into universal mythologies and archetypes of this powerful symbol that can serve as an ark or totem for reclaiming the spirit. The boat is an easy form to recognize as a metaphor of transformation and working with it keeps me lighthearted and buoyant.”

The Artist Studio is presented by Cultural Encounters at the de Young. The Kimball Education Gallery is free to the public and open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday from 1–5 pm. Visitors are encouraged to participate in a series of hands-on interdisciplinary art projects in the Kimball Education Gallery throughout January. The closing reception for Spirit Boat Directions is Friday, January 28th from 6:00–8:30 pm. Ewing is available to provide assistance and instruction during gallery hours.



Jennifer Ewing earned a bachelor of art degree at Monmouth College in Illinois where she developed her drawing and painting skills and was introduced to sculpture, printmaking and art history. She has always enjoyed working in some aspect of art, including illustration, graphics and teaching. Starting a mural and fine art business in 1989, Ewing and her husband, Leo Germano, created Ewing & Germano. Ewing teaches at various museums, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and participates in Developing Environments, a historic artists’ collective in San Francisco. Since the reopening of the de Young in 2005, Ewing has taught in the school, family and summer camp programs at FAMSF. Initiating the Friday Night Drawing program in 2007, she offers classes seasonally at the de Young utilizing the tower classrooms and galleries for sketching. Ewing is a member of Mission Artists United, ArtSpan and the NCWCA Women’s Caucus for Art.


The de Young’s Artist Studio is a residency program for emerging artists and community-based arts groups that allows visitors a chance to explore a working studio environment. Every month, the de Young invites artists to install and demonstrate their art form at the museum. This interactive program enables visitors to meet artists and gives the artist an opportunity to work with the public. The Artist Studio program is supported by the Fleishhacker Foundation. It is a part of FAMSF’s Cultural Encounters initiative designed to attract new and diverse audiences to the Museums.

“In October I fulfilled a dream by painting a mural as a backdrop for my boat sculptures making a “Spirit Boat Marina” for my Open Studio Installation. The mural was painted in one day since I had very little time to prepare for the event and the added elements of draped fabric and a cardboard ramp for the sculptural boats helped bring dimension. This work will travel with me to the deYoung Museum in January for my month long residency there. This installation will represent the element of water and the direction of west.” — Jennifer Ewing

Click here to visit Jennifer’s blog: Jennifer Ewing

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at:


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