Virginia artist Janet Brome grew up in San Diego. She majored in art in college and worked as a fashion illustrator before serving in the Peace Corps in Bolivia. She then earned a Master of Teaching degree and worked in arts education in suburban Maryland where she designed and directed a teacher training program in the arts. This program, Project Arts, became a national model for arts education.
In 1978 she became a mother and a potter. Her animal pots were sold in craft galleries throughout the country. In 1979 the family moved into an old schoolhouse in Limeton, Virginia where she and her husband made pots in the school kitchen. After ten years as a potter, Janet returned to the field of education as a Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher.
She has devoted full time to her artwork since the summer of 2000. She has studied at The Maryland College of Art and Design, The Corcoran College of Art, and The Art League in Virginia. She has been awarded several grants to continue her studies in art; one from The Front Royal Women's Resource Center in 2000, and one from The Marion Park Lewis Foundation for the Arts in 2005. Janet has taught art at Lord Fairfax Community College, the regional Governor's School for the Arts, and privately in local studios. She is a member of the Blue Ridge Arts Council , the Washington Sculptors Group, and is one of a group of Virginia artists known as The Six Pack.
Her work can be seen at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, NC, and at the R.H. Ballard Gallery in Washington, VA.
Most of my time is spent creating screen sculptures. I am intrigued by metal screen and what it does when manipulated. By adding color, shaping and layering the wire mesh, I can create work that reveals surprises from every angle. The shadows cast by these pieces play an increasingly important role the longer I work in this medium. When making my screen sculptures, I simply try to be open to what the material wants to do... then I wrestle with the mechanical problems such as "What section can I assemble and still reach into to attach new parts?"
I do continue to paint. For me, painting is a way to honor some idea or aspect of nature that fills my soul. The process of painting - unlike the process of putting together my sculptures - is contemplative. I savor those moments when my linear thinking stops and the painting and I become one.
Whether working in clay, as I once did exclusively, or with metal or on canvas, animals are a subject I am drawn to. I try to capture the spirit of the particular animal I have chosen to depict. Recently I have been making bird sculptures that move and even sing. I always want to try something new... to take risks... to play. I look forward to getting into my studio every day.
My goal is to engage the viewer and offer delight or wonder.