WHAKATANE artist in residence Jennifer Epperson will be giving a talk about the power of women on Saturday.

The United States artist and art activist is in Whakatane for a month-long Volcanic Artist Residency. During her time here, Jennifer is continuing her painting series Women as Birds, Portraits of Power.

On Saturday she will be at the Brookfields Lawyers Gallery at Te Koputu, Whakatane’s library and exhibition centre where people are welcome to go along to hear heretalk about the power of women, and to learn more about her artistic methods.

The event is free to attend and no bookings are required.

POWERFUL: One of the portraits from Jennifer’s Women as Birds, Portraits of Power series. Photo supplied

Jennifer has been brought to the District through Whakatāne District Council’s Volcanic Artist Residency Pilot Programme, with support from White Island Tours (Ngati Awa Group Holdings Limited), Arts Whakatāne, Antipodes Water Company and Whakatane District Council, with thanks to Whakatane Kiwi Trust.

From San Marcos in Texas, Jennifer says this is her first artist residency although she has hosted resident artists when she was involved in the Sedona Artist Colony at the Sedona Art Centre in Arizona, where she previously lived.

“It was such a wonderful experience and then when I heard about this I said I would love to come,” she says.

During her stay in Whakatane, Epperson is working on a series of portraits she has been painting over the past few years called Women as Birds, Portraits of Power.

Her work explores the power of women in the 21st century. “My main interest is to show the world from the female gaze because 98 percent of the art that we see in galleries and museums is done by men, so I think it is really important that we see art done by and for and about women.”

Her mediums are mixed – using anything that can make a mark, apart from oil paint.

“I do a lot of collage and montage and specialty paper, appropriating images and revising images; I manipulate photographs and use wet and dry medium, which is better for the environment.”