Jeanne O’Connor received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metal and minor in Psychology from the State University of New York at New Paltz. In addition to metal she studied painting, drawing, photography and ceramics to gain a wide breadth of knowledge in art making practices. As an active member of the outdoors community, Jeanne organizes group adventures while promoting conservation and appreciation for local wilderness preserves. Activities such as rock climbing, hiking, and rafting often influence her work across all media. Her combined interests in ecology, psychology, and art drive her recent work in both New York and New Mexico.
This past summer I lived on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico for three months. I collaborated with science research teams to learn about the ecosystems they study, which in turn fueled my practice. After exploring canyons, mesas, valleys, and more, I quickly decided that I was most intrigued by the wild animals that inhabit these places. As the weeks went by I became more aware of where particular animals, packs, and herds lived, and how they will react to my presence. I learned how to walk silently, hide in the right places, and that sunrise always reveals the best kept secrets. Each time I had the opportunity to photograph an animal of the same species, I was able to compose a more successful image. By creating work focused on wildlife, I hope to call attention to the importance of protecting natural habitats.
Place: 12 Vassar St., Poughkeepsie, NY