Betsy Jaeger

  • THINKING OF CROWS (triptych) oil paint on canvas, 18” x 24” (each section)
  • JULY FOURTH, oil paint on wood panel, 30” x 25” x 1.5”
  • BRONZE FOX, oil paint on wood panel, 30” x 24” x 1.5”
  • LOOKING THROUGH THE MOON, oil paint on wood panel, 30” x 24” x 1.5”
  • 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"
  • COAL IS KING, acrylic, papier mache on wood panel, 20"x 16.5" x 1"
  • WHAT WE DO TO THE EARTH, WE DO TO OURSELVES; 4 life-sized masks in papier mache, paint, encaustic and found objects.
  • EARTH: Kayford Mountain, WATER: Consol Settling Pond, AIR: Fort Martin Power Plant. ---- papier mache, acrylic, ink jet print and plexiglas, 11" x 14" x 3" (each box)

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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