Jane Hickey Caminos
World Upside Down, oil on linen, 22″ x 28″
Up on the Roofie, oil and colored pencil on linen, 24″ x 30″
Brothel Born, mixed media on linen, 16″ x 20″
Time Out, mixed media, 24″ x 30″
300 Each Hour, mixed media on linen, 22″ x 28″
Empower Me, mixed media on linen, 26″ x 36″
La Voz (‘The Voice’), mixed media on linen, 16″ x 20″
A Leader Emerges, oil on linen, 24″ x 30″
Picked, mixed media on linen, 24″ x 30″
Manna, oil on linen, 24″ x 30″
In the mid-1970s, I began a series of narrative paintings that featured unsung women. The series, which came to be known as “On Women Bound” (“OWB”), grew, and I built my artistic reputation by telling women’s stories.
In 2012, I watched a PBS documentary about the horrific gang rape in Delhi, India, of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh by five men who brutalized her; their actions resulted in Singh’s death by sepsis two weeks later. Singh’s fate enraged and saddened me, and I vowed then to create art that explores violence against the female gender across all cultures. My work is ongoing; crimes against women are increasing.
I believe that it is the responsibility of artists to create for positive change whenever possible. Speaking as an activist, I declare it my intention to arouse awareness of gender violence. My hope is to generate a dialogue in our own communities by asking, “What can we do to stop the violence?” I am working to turn victims into the victorious. I invite all to join me, and to carry my paintings’ message to others so that positive change will occur through increased awareness.
About the Artist
Jane Hickey Caminos was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. She received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1969 from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. For a number of years, she worked in the book publishing trade in Boston, Massachusetts, and New York City as both an art director and a manager, thereafter establishing an independent design and illustration studio for book, magazine, game and puzzle, and stationery and gift-wrap projects; her studio also did corporate work (for example, annual reports, newsletters, identity packages) for clients in the professions.
Jane Hickey Caminos has long been a painter, and because she also is an illustrator with the spirit of the raconteur, she favors narrative themes. Her first exhibitions in the early 1990s were in the Boston area, where she built a reputation for her depictions of women of earlier generations, often discovered in family albums. Not simply a clone of photographs, this early body of work allowed its subjects to expand their stories by including an assortment of “props” — from animals to various foods, such as fried eggs or pasta or perhaps shrimp floating in the air — and setting them in lush, decorative landscapes. The work’s heavy use of saturated color and pattern recalls the influences of Matisse, Gauguin, Rousseau, Klimt, Merkin, and tribal Africa.
In 2012, in tears after watching a PBS documentary about the violence and lack of freedom endured by women around the world, Jane Hickey Caminos vowed to use her art forevermore to voice protest, declaring, “I believe it’s the responsibility of artists to use their talent as a means of changing the world for the better.”
Subsequently, Jane Hickey Caminos began what has become a major collection of paintings, “On Women Bound,” which explores violence against women and girls across all cultures. “It would be an easy matter to chose horrific scenes that shock and disgust,” Jane Hickey Caminos says, “but with respect for suffering women, I’ve decided to choose a more mannered approach. Although many of the paintings carry a narrative that can be uncomfortable to deal with, the messages must express the command that these gender-specific crimes can no longer be ignored.”
Known as the “Narrative Painter of Women,” Jane Hickey Caminos continues to explore themes addressing the lives of not only less fortunate women but of all women, because physical violence and emotional abuse do not discriminate among cultures or social classes. Until all women and girls are safe, “each of us carries the weight of their pain.”
In 2016, Jane Hickey Caminos left New Jersey and the New Art Group, a group of established artists with whom she regularly exhibited, for Seattle, Washington, where she continues to expand her series and make connections with the activist artist community and curators.
Since 2018, Jane Hickey Caminos has been associated with Fogue Studios & Gallery, a Seattle collective for established artists over 50.
Jane Hickey Caminos has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, many of the latter juried. The venues include the United Nations Sponsored International Women’s Caucus for Art at Arc Gallery, Chicago, Illinois; Arts Guild of New Jersey; National Women’s Caucus for Art at NAWA Gallery, New York City; Hamilton Gallery, Bound Brook, New Jersey; St. Mary’s College Museum of Art, Moraga, California; and Manhattan Arts International, New York City. In January 2020, work by Jane Hickey Caminos was on exhibit at Fogue Studios & Gallery until its disruption by the COVID-19 pandemic; it continues as an online-only show.
Notes: Jane Hickey Caminos welcomes comments about her work and activism; write to her at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles about her series and other work can be found at her LinkedIn site and at the link below.
“Jane Hickey Caminos, Activist Artist, Tells Her Story” at Artists Tell Their Stories, March 2018 (This is an archived article.)