Turning the accessible into the distinctive

The ordinary, the forgotten and the unnoticed are transformed into eye-catching images that drive the imagination at the hands of artist Jack Jackowetz. Through the process of post impressionism photography, Jackowetz brings everyday places, objects and images to life with a vibrant, whimsical use of colour. “I take pictures of things that capture my imagination,” says Jackowetz. Often those things are of buildings, sometimes industrial, worn by age, abandoned or soon to be demolished. Sometimes they’re of a historical nature, but not always. “It’s where you live. You may drive by it every day, but you don’t see it anymore,” he says. His art has been compared to that of the late Andy Warhol. Jackowetz was a fan of the 1960’s TV cartoon Jonny Quest created by illustrator Doug Wildey. He says Wildey’s use of black in the comics he drew were influential to his work.

Born and raised in Brantford, Jackowetz says he often wondered why there were so many images of places like London, Paris, and New York, but not of home or other smaller communities. His shift to the art world following a lengthy corporate career meant a journey of exploration and learning that would ultimately result in the portrayal of many of those smaller communities in a new light and new colours. Also a keen historian, Jackowetz delves into each subject by haunting local libraries and museums, learning the back story of what was and what now is. The work has taken him through Ontario and into a number of the Finger Lakes communities in Upstate New York, where his images have been enthusiastically embraced.

Jackowetz has also experimented with his subject matter. The work continues to capture moments in time, but rather than just distinct images of communities, it showcases objects and things, and shapes and patterns. The collection features running shoes, a bottle of mineral water, a light switch, blueberries and other ordinary, turned extraordinary things.

His talent and established style have been enlisted time and again to create special, commissioned works of art. A Jack Jackowetz piece can be commemorative, summarizing a career or a legacy. It can celebrate a retirement or any occasion.

Following a 30-year career in software development and marketing in the U.S. and Canada, Jackowetz made the choice to turn to art as a full-time career in 2008. He says although not unhappy in the corporate world, he wanted to demonstrate to his children it was possible to make a drastic career shift. He wanted to create important pieces that would leave a legacy. “My art work will survive me,” he said. His work is featured throughout a variety of galleries in the U.S. and Canada.

CBC Radio One Sudbury interview with Morning North's Marcus Schwabe

CBC Radio One Sudbury interview with Morning North's Marcus Schwabe