Work that speaks with an authentic voice, finding joy in the creation, even the creation of humankind and celebrating life, even life in the suburbs, is highly likely to be misunderstood because of the expectation of an ironic point of view.
(James B. Janknegt )
(James B. Janknegt )
James B. Janknegt was born in Austin, Texas. He attended public schools and was a part of the Saturday Morning Art Project at the University of Texas all through junior and high school.
He attended art school at the University of Texas in Austin and graduated with a BFA in 1978. He left Texas and moved to Iowa City to attend graduate school where he worked with Mauricio Lasansky and Joe Patrick among others.
Upon graduating with an MA and MFA in 1982 he moved back to Austin and began exhibiting his work at the Patrick Gallery. When the Patrick Gallery closed up shop he began to show with the Lyons Matrix Gallery until they too closed their doors. He also showed his work during this time in many galleries and museums around Texas.
While in high school Jim became a Jesus Freak and was a part of The Well, a trans-denominational coffee house where he painted murals on the walls and sang in the folk group.
When he moved back to Austin many of his old friends from The Well had migrated over to St. David’s Episcopal Church where a contemporary folk mass had begun. After several years he joined the folk group and illustrated several mass booklets for music Kathy Kanewske had written. It was also at St. David’s that Jim reconnected with Melissa Pena and subsequently married her.
When the Episcopal Church moved out from under them, the Janknegts converted to Roman Catholicism in 2005 and were received into full communion in 2007.
In 1998 the Janknegts moved from Austin to Elgin, Texas where they have an ArtFarm. They grow artists, fruits, vegetables, chickens, goat, guinea hens, peacocks, and ducks. They also have two dogs.
Jim always worked full-time to pay the bills and painted in his off hours. He painted billboards, dressed store windows, drove a taxi, sold plumbing and hardware supplies, worked as a graphic artist assistant, ran an offset printing press, worked as a procurement officer and a building manager, and taught private art lessons. He worked as the building manager for the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin until he retired in 2015.
When he is not painting he enjoys reading, building things, gardening, tending to animals, and camping. He also enjoys watching movies and listening to music.
In the past decade I have found myself devoted to re-establishing painting that can be called Christian in the great tradition of the church before the reformation and the outburst of iconoclasm changed the world of art forever. I am not, however, trying to paint in the style of the great Christian painters of the past merely attempting to paint in the same spirit. Below is a beautiful quote that helps define what “Christian Art” is:
Art is sacred if it is above all beautiful, that is, intrinsically splendid, because it is fully intelligible, so that it makes first the artist and then the person who enjoys it want to cross over into infinity. This art is religious if it produces a longing for the divine, namely, if it leads one to transcend one’s own self in order to meet God and with him one’s neighbour. This art is Christian if, through the adventures of the spirit, it recounts what happened between God and man in the history of salvation, if it rises to God like a sweet and profound prayer, if it makes “God’s glory” visible, though in a hidden manner, in the celebration of the divine mysteries. (Carlo Chenis, Art To Help Humankind Cross The “Threshold Of Hope”)