While Jane Marie Manco’s oil paintings span a variety of genres, from seascapes to portraits, it is her still lifes inspired by the Cape’s marine bounty that bring her the most artistic satisfaction.
“The reason I work with fish and oysters is that it is important for me to be intrigued with my subject matter and because I love these objects,” Manco says from her Centerville studio. “I paint from life. The fish and oysters offer endless possibilities in texture, color, and unique characteristics.”
Manco paints in the classical realism tradition, based on the faithful portrayal of how light and color combine to define objects in the world around us. She is intrigued by the challenge of translating three dimensions into two. Painted at life size, her still lifes feel both immediate and fleeting.
With smaller compositions featuring formal arrangements of objects against spare backgrounds, each Manco painting feels like an ode to the subject.
A summer resident of Cape Cod for many years, Manco moved to the Cape permanently three years ago from New York City, where she has spent most of her life. She received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Parsons School of Design and a master’s degree in arts education from the College of Staten Island. She continues to study at the Academy of Realist Art in Boston. She has been an artist all her life, and in the past she taught high school visual arts in the New York public schools.
Having spent most of her life teaching others how to create art, Manco decided that the move was the ideal time to commit full time to her own work. So far, the risk has paid off with a steady stream of group shows in Massachusetts, New York, and beyond. She recently received a merit award in the 10th Biennial National Art Exhibition hosted by the Visual Art Center in Punta Gorda, Florida; Jeffrey T. Larson, a master classical realist, juried the show.
In July, Manco will have her first solo show with Larkin Gallery in Provincetown. She has found gallery directors and artists on Cape Cod and in the Northeast to be friendly and welcoming. “I love New York,” she says, “but it can be difficult to get noticed as an artist in New York. I found my artistic growth in transitioning to this accepting art community. Here, there is a lot of support for local artists, and the galleries are open-minded.” – Amanda Wastrom