Artist | Jade Qiong Xia

My artwork is about illuminated spaces in specific times, connection with nature, and remembering what really matters.

The romantic approach toward plants as subject matter was distilled in me growing up in Chinese culture. The scholar painters’ pictorial philosophy has continuously inspired Chinese painters for many centuries since the founding of the Song dynasty (960—1279). They favored bamboo for “humility,” pine for “hardiness”, orchids for “principles”, and plum blossoms for “defiance“. These characteristics were imposed onto the subjects to express the artist’s own values. At age 14, after seeing French neoclassical paintings for the first time, my love of color and illuminated space was born. My art training in China gave birth to my appreciation for the subtlety and richness of oil paint, and it developed further in the United States, where I studied as a BFA student.

In my heart, I am a faithful pupil of nature and constantly in awe of its great work. If I lived in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth, I’d be a Hobbit – not only because I am short and love food, but also because I share their love of “good tilled earth, things that grow, and peace and quiet”. I love plants, and I portray them as how I see them: the tensions between branches of plants are comparable to human relationships; their stories of growth and decay echo the fundamental human concern with life and death.

For these last few years I have started to collect images of the lotus in my travels. I was surprised at how easily this collection accumulated. One can find this flower on teapots, jewelry, paintings, furniture carvings and in botanic gardens. It seems to me that the lotus has found its way into many artisans’ hearts. These images are also creeping into my studio, compelling me to put them on canvas. I’ve always loved the relationship between the sun and the plant: the sunlight nourishes the plant, not unlike how wisdom nourishes the human soul.

Lotus represents enlightenment and purity in my culture. That knowledge is what grounds me in these art works. I’ve found “home” in my work, and enjoy this process of depicting this specific “light” – it consists of a time and space that exists only briefly. These moments have moved me to create art. I am grateful that I have witnessed these moments and wish to convey my experiences to my viewers through my eyes and hands.

EDUCATION

March 2015 – Current

Rhode Island School of Design
Masters of Arts of Teaching
Providence, Rhode Island, USA

August 2007- May 2009

SUNY , Buffalo State
Master of Science, Multidisciplinary Studies for international Educators

May 2002 – Dec 2004

Rhode Island College
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Graduated Summa Cum Laude, December 2004

Sept 1989 – Sept 1992

Hubei Institute of Fine Arts
National Certification for Middle School Art Education
Wuhan, Hubei, PRC

Sept 1985 – Sept 1988

Jianli Teaching School
National Certification for Elementary Art Education
Jianli, Hubei, PRC

EXHIBITION AND SPECIAL RECOGNITION

2015

The best representational art award
Member’s exhibition 2015
Attleboro Art Museum, Attleboro, MA, USA

2015

“21st Juried Exhibition”
Zullo Gallery, Midfield, MA, USA

2013

“Art for Heart” Group Exhibition
Bait Muzna Gallery, Muscat, Oman

2010

Group Exhibition
Bait Al Baranda Gallery, Muscat, Oman

2008

Women Artist Group Exhibition
Art House Gallery, Muscat, Oman

2007

Solo Exhibition
AS220, Providence, USA

2004

Third Place of eighteenth Annual Juried Art Competition
Warwick Museum, Warwick, Rhode Island, USA

2003

Special Talent Award
Rhode Island College Art Department
Providence, Rhode Island, USA

1990

Juried Painting and Drawing Exhibit
Shishou Art Museum
Shishou, Hubei, PRC

1989

Shishou City Youth Art, Photo, and Calligraphy Show
Shishou City Art Club
Shishou, Hubei, PRC

WORK EXPERIENCE

August 2005 – June 2014

Secondary Visual Arts Teacher
ABA – An IB world school, Muscat, Oman

January 2013- June 2014

Arts Curriculum Coordinator
ABA – An IB world school, Muscat, Oman

Sept 1999 – Sept 2001

Visual Arts Teacher – Grades K and 1
Kindergarten teacher’s assistant
American International School of Guangzhou
Guangzhou, Guangdong, PRC

August 1997 – June 1999

Visual Arts Teacher – Grades 1 – 6
Alcanta International School
Shunde, Guangdong, PRC

Oct 1995 – June 1997

Visual Arts Teacher – Grades 1 – 6
YingHao College
Chonghua, Guangdong, PRC

Sept 1988 – Sept 1995

Visual Arts Teacher – Grades 1 – 6
Shishou Innovative Elementary School
Shishou, Hubei, PRC