Betsy Jaeger

  • LINE OF POWER, acrylic on wood panel, 20” x 30” VIEW FROM HOME, acrylic, encaustic, twigs on wood panel, 20” x 30”
  • TREE REMOVAL, oil paint on wood panel, 20” x 30”, WORK SPACE, oil paint on wood panel, 20” x 30”
  • MIDNIGHT AT NOON, oil paint on wood panel, 30” x 21” x 1.25”
  • BLACK INTO WHITE, oil paint on wood panel, 31” x 20” x 1.25”
  • A PIPELINE RUNS THROUGH IT, acrylic, papièr maché, natural objects, 21" x 16.5" x 1"
  • COAL IS KING, acrylic, papièr maché on wood panel, 20” x 16.5” x 1”
  • What We Do to the Earth, We Do to Ourselves: 4 life-sized masks in paper mache, paint, encaustic and found objects.
  • 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”
  • INSIDE LOOKING OUT: NORTH and WEST: watercolor, encaustic, oil paint, oil pastel and ink jet prints. Double-sided diptych is 22” x 11”
  • 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”

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 the 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 the WV Sierra Club to get legislation passed to stop the proliferation of orphaned gas wells, which leak a lot of methane and are a big problem here.

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  • Artist Info

    • Morgantown, WV
      US - East
    • 304 983-2980

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