The Creative Life in Our Cities: A Conversation with Jan Jacobs

We have many talented artists and creatives living and working in our Farmington/Farmington Hills community and our weekly interview series, sponsored by City Life Realty, will introduce you to some of them.

Today we feature fiber artist and quilter Jan Jacobs, Farmington Area Artist in Residence in 2009.

When did you first get started in the arts?

I had a piece of artwork in the DIA as part of the Detroit Schools art exhibit in the mid-1960s. I thought everyone did.

Did you partake in formal training in your form?

Yes, I’ve taken several classes, but ended up doing the project in ways that the teacher didn’t always approve of. My seams weren’t perfect, my colors were too loud, my ironing was “the wrong way.” What I enjoyed was learning the technique, but I didn’t enjoy having to stay within the boundary of what the teacher wanted.

Who has been a mentor to you along the way?

My mom, the Library Quilters here in Farmington Hills, Vicki Barnett for pushing me into using technology to cut out my pieces.

Are you a member of any local or regional arts groups?

Library Quilters, the Pomegranate Guild, and I am the vice president of the Farmington Community Arts Council.

Can you describe something you’ve created that is particularly meaningful to you?

I have a quilt that is a log cabin variation that hung at the Janice Charach Epstein Gallery. I call it my “Garden Path Quilt.” My cousin, Benson Barr, saw it on the wall and said, “I thought someone FAMOUS made that!” I have another quilt that is my healing quilt that goes to sick people. They use it until they’ve healed, then give it back. It’s been to several states.

Has your art appeared in any city programs or events, such as the Public Art Program at City Hall or Art on the Grand?

I’ve been at the Farmington and Farmington Hills city halls, at many of the Festival of the Arts exhibits, the Multicultural exhibits at Costick years ago, and also at the Hunting Woods and Southfield public libraries.

Can you share a favorite quote about art or life? “Without ART, the EARTH is just EH.”

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