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Jenna Darkow: AAN Featured Artist


ACK Artists

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We are thrilled to collaborate with the Artists Association of Nantucket this year to feature their talented artist members. The AAN is a non-profit organization supporting Nantucket artists, providing educational programs in the arts, and preserving the legacy of Nantucket artists. Visit their website, their gallery at 19 Washington Street, their studio at 24 Amelia Drive, or give them a call at (508) 228-0294.

For the month of February we are pleased to feature Jenna Darkow.

Jenna Darkow

This month’s “Meet the Artist” interview is with Jenna Darkow, a trained occupational therapist, pastel-lover, and Artist Member since 2017. Interview conducted by AAN Chair of Professional Development and Artist Member, Erika Christensen Scully.

ECS: Occupational Therapy was your major in college and current career path. Does your work in occupational therapy help you with your pastel drawing process?

JD: I think my background on OT helps me as a teacher and problem solver. It helps me break down the tasks into steps and think outside the box to come up with solutions. I think my artistic talents maybe help more with my skills as an OT. I was very into art as a child and am constantly looking for ways to incorporate art into my daily life.

ECS: Are you self taught, or have you developed your pastel skills through academic studies?

JD: As a child I was always signing up for art classes or doing some sort of crafty project at home. My dad is an artist so he influenced me as well growing up. I was an art minor at Ithaca College, and then studied with the Bow House Studio pastel group in Tiverton, RI for a year, which was where I really started getting into pastels. I took classes with Jeannie Rosier Smith and Lana Ballet who are both amazing pastel artists and great teachers- I highly recommend looking them up as they are always teaching classes/workshops about pastel in person and virtually.

ECS: Do you prefer the palette of any one season on the island?

JD: I don’t prefer a season, more so time of the day. Afternoon creates more interesting shadows and contrast and I love sunsets to capture the colors they create on water and land… I definitely prefer water; maybe with some land in the background or foreground.

ECS: Your pastels are filled with a beautiful balance of realism and vitality. Do you work on location or entirely from photos?

JD: I prefer to work from photos indoors as the lighting can be ever changing and difficult outside as well as the weather/wind. It is fun to paint outside though once in a while!

ECS: Where can we see your work?

JD: At my website:, Instagram: @jennadarkow_art, and at the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery on Nantucket.