Betsy Jaeger

  • WHAT WE DO TO THE EARTH, WE DO TO OURSELVES: Cardinal or Robot, Habitat Loss, We Are What We Eat, Can You Hear Me? Four papièr maché masks made from a cast of my face.
  • EARTH: Kayford Mountain, WATER: Consol Settling Pond, AIR: Fort Martin Power Plant. ---- papièr maché, acrylic, ink jet print and plexiglas, 11” x 14" x 3”
  • DEEP TIME: oil paint, wax, ink jet prints, plexiglas on canvas, 32” x 20”
  • BLAST AREA: acrylic, ink jet print, encaustic and oil pastel on wood panel, 14” x 11”
  • NEIGHBORHOOD CHANGES: ink jet prints, papièr maché, twigs, encaustic, oils, 18” x 24”
  • POWER LINE: oil paint, oil pastel, wax and ink jet print on canvas, 18” x 24”
  • FORT MARTIN: oil paint, wax and ink jet print on canvas, 18” x 24”
  • TWO CROWS CIRCLING: oil paint, oil pastel and watercolor on canvas -------------------- NOCTURNE: oil paint, acrylic and wax on paper and canvas. 24” X 36” each
  • INSIDE LOOKING OUT: NORTH and WEST: watercolor, encaustic, oil paint, oil pastel and ink jet prints. Double-sided diptych is 22” x 11”
  • LOGGED OUT: oil paint, bark, twigs, paper bird on wood panel, 11” x 14” x 5” ----------- GHOSTS and SHADOWS, oil paint, encaustic, paper bird on wood panel, 11” x 14” x 4”

Living in rural West Virginia gives me a front row seat to the devastating impacts of coal removal and, more recently, fracking. We literally got a front row seat in 2012 when a strip mine permit was approved for the land directly in front of us. After the logging, blasting and massive earth moving, the coal company declared bankruptcy and abandoned the site three years later, leaving our neighborhood torn apart with acid mine drainage flowing into our streams. (see my two YouTube videos: Going, Going Gone and Strip Mine Legacy).

Environmental issues have always been important to my painting but they became local and personal when strip mining began outside our windows. I documented the destruction and used these as the basis for my mixed media paintings. My work is small and domestic and uses my home and the land around it as a metaphor for what is happening to the world at large. Images of chairs, windows and electrical outlets are contrasted with images of birds and wildlife and the price they pay for our comforts.

My website: shows my own environmental art as well as blogs showing collaborative projects I’ve worked on to call attention to environmental disasters and concerns in Appalachia; in particular the Dunkard Creek fish killl of 2009 and a vanishing species mural. Beyond my use of art to call attention to our environment, I tried to stop the permitting of the strip mine in front of us in 2012. Currently I am working with local environmental groups to try to stop the permitting of a fourth fossil fuel plant here in Morgantown.

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  • Artist Info

    • 1213 Gallus Road
    • Morgantown WV 26501
    • 304 983-2980

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