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Paint Cemetery

Madison artist Youngblood
to be showcased at Joeyg’s

The exhibit 'Necropolis' features
cemetery monuments, statues

By Amy Casebier
Contributing Writer

(November 2007) – When you think of Joeyg’s Restaurant and Nightclub, music may be the first thing that comes to mind, but art should not be far behind. The restaurant not only plays host to a variety of musical talent but also exhibits art from both local and out of town talent.

Jenny Youngblood

Photo provided

Artist Jenny Youngblood brings
her cemetery monument art
to Joeyg’s in November.

Local artist Jenny Straub Youngblood will be an example of music and art melding into an exhibit when her work comes to Joeyg’s “On the Wall” gallery in November. Youngblood’s art has been catalogued by a major record label and could be used as album art by popular bands.
Her latest show, “Necropolis,” is all about the painting. Greek for “City of the Dead,” this paradoxical exhibit highlights the beauty and depth of emotion in cemetery monuments and statues.
“Some are sad, but not as many as you think,” she said. “They seem more triumphant. Maybe that’s intentional.”
“Necropolis” will be on display at Joeyg’s from Nov. 8 to Dec. 20. There will be a reception for the exhibit from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 18 at the restaurant.
“I think it’ll get a lot of attendance at the art reception,” said fellow artist Patty Cooper Wells, 36. “A lot of people know (Youngblood), but maybe not that she paints. The angels are going to be really popular.”
Wells is in charge of the art exhibits at the restaurant and also painted the murals that decorate the walls at Joeyg’s.
“I’ve seen her work,” Wells said in regard to Youngblood. “Even though it’s based on cemetery statuaries, you’d think it’d be morbid, but it’s not. I think Jenny’s a great artist. It’s an interesting subject to tackle.”
The mission behind the “On the Wall” gallery is to showcase artists that are not well known in the community as well as art styles that might not be as popular in other galleries. Some of the art styles include a departure from realism into the more contemporary and abstract surrealism. “On the Wall” has been a part of Joeyg’s since the restaurant opened in 2000.
Wells was first friends with Youngblood’s mother, GiGi Straub, and actually gave Straub a show at Joeyg’s several years ago. Youngblood’s father is Jasper Straub.
Wells met Youngblood recently through the Gadfly Art Society, a group for local artists founded in March 2007 by Wells and artist friend Jane DeVito.

Jenny Youngblood Art

The group is “mainly for social networking and inspiration among artists,” Wells said.
Artist Eric Phagan also knows Youngblood through Gadfly, as well as through framing several of her pieces at Binzer’s Custom Framing, where he works.
“I think it’s different and unique,” Phagan, 28, said of Youngblood’s pieces. “She plays with proportion, extends and elongates the figure. She gives it a feeling, creates a kind of narrative. It’s a different way of looking at Madison.”
Youngblood plays well with the starkness between color and shadow, Phagan added.
“She’s definitely an artist people should watch out for,” he said.
Youngblood finds that oil paint and the human form are the medium and subject matter that work best for her, she said. However, putting a finger on her inspiration is a little harder.
“It just comes to me,” Youngblood, 31, said. “Things just strike me sometimes.” She added that she does write each morning when she woke up, and that some of her ideas could come from that.
Youngblood said she had intended to do a series of paintings on cemetery statues since 1999, when she spent a month in Europe following her graduation from Hanover College the previous year. She took many photos of monuments during her travels, but the pictures did not develop correctly, and she put the project on hold. Youngblood also became caught up with her home and work life as well. She has a husband, Brian, and a stepdaughter, Bethany. Youngblood works at the Jefferson County Circuit Court’s probation department and recently began painting again in her spare time.
“I’ve always painted since I can remember,” she said.
Youngblood also majored in art at Hanover. During her senior year, the numerous campus bands made a compilation CD together. Youngblood designed the back cover for the album.
Youngblood has exhibited her work at the college when she was a student and also showed pieces with the Madison Art Club and the Madison Art Gallery and Studio. She had her first exhibit at Joeyg’s in 2001.
“A lot of my stuff would work” for album covers, Youngblood said.
Youngblood sent 100 or more examples of her art to different record labels before one company responded to let her know they had catalogued her portfolio. Cataloguing means that the record label sends artists’ portfolios to smaller companies that show bands their work for a possible album cover. Youngblood has not been hired yet for a specific project, but she has received three or four emails saying that her work was being shown.

• For more information about the “On the Wall” gallery at Joeyg’s Restaurant and Nightclub, visit: http://houseohits.com/joeygs.

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