Biography of Jennifer Bélanger
Jennifer Bélanger was born in 1974 in Campbellton, New Brunswick. In 1977, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in visual arts at Université de Moncton (Nouveau-Brunswick). She studied drawing and drama, in 1991, at the University of Alberta’s Summer Art Program, in Edmonton. She is much involved in Greater Moncton’s cultural community, and from 1999 to 2001 she worked as a program coordinator for Galerie Sans Nom. Currently she is executive director of Imago Printshop, a non-profit artist-run centre located at the Aberdeen Cultural.
Bélanger participated in a number of exhibitions, in New Brunswick, Canada and France. Group exhibitions included Y a pas d’vaches sacrées icitte (1999) and Évangéline (2002) at the Galerie d’art de l’Université de Moncton, Géographie du regard (2004) and Symposium international (2004) in France, and Atlantic Scene Festival (2003) in Ottawa. She was also artist in residence, in Moncton, with Extensions Intimes Échangeur (2000) and Histoire de Sens Échangeur II (2001) in Rouyn-Noranda (Quebec).
Her solo and duo exhibitions included Toupie (2002), Training Wheels (2002) and Oxford, the Blueberry Boy and Friends (2003).
In 2002 and 2003, Bélanger was awarded a grant as part of the Province of New Brunswick’s funding program for creation and assistance to emerging artists.
Both a painter and a print artist, Bélanger’s intention is to tell a story. Her beguiling images and their anthropomorphic characters are, in her words, sweet and sour eye candy. She constantly refers to childhood imagery in her work, which is peopled with disillusioned Barbie types, or mischievous and wicked dolls. Distancing herself from the claims of feminists, which she considers too serious, she depicts far from marvellous tales set in universes of shabby and sarcastic day-to-day existence. Bélanger is intent on destroying prettiness and deplores the abysmal status of little girls in contemporary North American society.