I'm Jen Herzig Smith and I create ink and art with plants gathered from my garden in the Northeast Los Angeles Community of Eagle Rock on the ancestral and traditional lands of the Tongva people, near the place where the British side of my family settled.
My current work started with excitement that came as I discovered the possibility of colors created by the alchemy of ink made from plants, iron and soda ash. Over time I began to wonder what would happen if the ink making wasn’t focused on the chemistry or expectations. What if I embrace the raw earthiness of the colors that plants give without altering them? The wholeness of this approach has become the foundation for my practice.
The artwork explores my deepening relationship with this land and our responsibility to cherish that which nourishes us.
I was born and nurtured in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of Northern California on the ancestral and traditional lands of the Maidu people, where the Swiss German side of my family settled.
I attended college in San Diego, on the ancestral and traditional lands of the Kumeyaay/Diegueno people.
I am committing to being an active participant in the generation that turns the corner in some way.
JEN HERZIG SMITH IS AN ARTIST. In addition to owning a letterpress business where she designed invitations, stationery and artworks Jen has worked on collaborative print and bookmaking projects, has been a freelance graphic designer for individuals and small businesses and worked in corporate branding. Over 30 years alongside her design profession, Jen has continued to create work in mixed media painting, installation, printmaking and bookmaking. Her recent work has been shown at The Terrain Biennial 2021, Red Chair Studio, and @alittle_spacegallery.