Jen Drociak

Jen Drociak is a Manchester, New Hampshire based artist. She has a degree in Environmental Conservation and works full time as an environmentalist. In her spare time, she enjoys being an active member of her community, writing, art, graphic design, mid-century modern design and architecture, and local history. She writes poetry and has been published in several literary journals and is a photographer who studied at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and has exhibited throughout New England and in New York City. View her photographs here. She is also the founder of the “Love Manchester” t-shirt company.

Jen’s work was featured in ‘The LOOK of LIFE,’ on view March 9-30, 2024.

Join us for an Artist Talk with Jen via Instagram Live on Monday, March 18 at 7:30pm est at @see.saw.art_.

About The LOOK of LIFE: Juxtaposed images and text from 1960s LOOK and LIFE magazines collaged into stories of fictitious women and their lives in the fictitious town of Pleasantville set in the 1960s.

“The LOOK of LIFE captures the stories of fictitious women in the fictitious town of Pleasantville in the 1960s. While creating these collages I intentionally paired images and text that were originally unrelated to one another. My objective was that these juxtapositions would be amusing on the surface, but ironic just below.

As I was creating these, obvious themes quickly arose including gender stereotypes and roles, relationships and marriage, employment and wages, reproductive rights, and feminism. Race and civil rights issues also made an appearance. Below the surface, however, darker themes emerged including sexual assault and abuse, emotional abuse, mental health, loveless marriages, and other marital issues. Further, “scandals” and taboo subject matters such as closet homosexuality, sexual fetishes, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, infidelity, murder for hire, and assassination emerged in this fictitious town.

When looking at the images of women and men in their original form in these 1960s magazines, I can clearly see that women have made great strides in areas of inclusion and equality in the nearly 60 years since then. But when I pair them with alternative text and create new stories for a new era, while a lot has changed, I still see common themes that have not. How do you compare “then” and “now” regarding these themes?”

Jen Drociak

See Saw Art is a 120 square foot exhibition space located within Mosaic Art Collective at 66 Hanover Street, Suite 201, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Owned and operated by Rochester Museum of Fine Arts co-founder, Amy Regan, See Saw Art features invitational and open call exhibitions on a monthly basis.

View open hours or book a viewing. Have a question? Email and ask!

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