From my Inbox to you, a press release about a painting that Blacksburg artist Jane Lillian Vance, the subject of the documentary A Gift for the Village, has created in response to the slaying of Morgan Harrington, who was one of her students at Virginia Tech.
Jane Lillian Vance Honors Her Student, Morgan Dana Harrington, with “The Hunted”
In response to the upcoming October 17 two-year anniversary of her beloved Virginia Tech student Morgan Dana Harrington’s abduction and murder, artist Jane Lillian Vance has created a painting titled: “The Hunted”.
Vance consulted closely with the Harrington family in pursuing her thoughts for this work. They appreciated the thoughtful details of a painting which shows the remote spot on Anchorage Farm where Morgan Harrington’s remains were discovered 101 days after her abduction and murder.
“In many ways the painting is beautiful,” Vance explains. “Pastoral and quiet. But then your eyes discover the bracelet and the earrings that Morgan was wearing – both which held vigil with her body in that field for three months.”
Vance painted an alert deer in the tall grass. “At first you think of the deer as hunted, and with no doubt she is,” Vance said. “But I think of that deer as being present that horrible night in a remote field outside Charlottesville. In the painting, the deer has returned to the scene – to bear witness. We join her – and now, the perpetrators are the hunted.”
Vance wrote a piece which she says the painting animates. “This was an emotional painting to create,” Vance admitted. “Holding those earrings in the palm of my hand. Seeing my reflection in the gold. Knowing that they held a murderer’s reflection. But we are now the ones who pursue. This work shows that we are all looking out, witnessing for justice for the beautiful Morgan Harrington, and are promoting vigilance to help save the next girl.”
Vance will join the Harrington family on the Copley Bridge in Charlottesville, Virginia at their 10am press conference on Monday, October 17, 2011.
by Jane Lillian Vance
The doe remembers the night–
Visits the curious earrings,
Like the girl’s long hair,
Fallen, as velvet falls.
She accepts–like antlers–the curving ribs.
The doe remembers the drop–registers–
No predators leave their kill. Then?
What beasts deposit death,
To stumble downhill? She remembers
Their stench, and the stupid haste
In those stubble-eyes–the waste.
Switchgrass, rough thistle,
Pliant twigs, the store of this fallow hill,
Not bountiful, but enough,
In a careful search. So the doe
Climbs for food, but halts–
Remembering–to be vigilant
Here. It was this time of year. Rain,
Ticks, dying bees, the final apples,
The murder of this human doe.
About the Artist: Jane Lillian Vance
Internationally acclaimed artist Jane Lillian Vance lives in Blacksburg, Virginia where she is currently adjunct faculty of The Creative Process through the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech, as well as a public school aide for middle-school-aged children with special needs. She adores her two children, daughter, Iris Lillian Vance and son, Emerson Arthur Siegle. When they were young, she spent a year in New Delhi, India, and another year in Kandy, Sri Lanka, home-schooling her children and researching South Asian art. Vance continues to create paintings with brilliant detail, vivid iconography of Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, and the folk arts of the Subcontinent as well as the Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains. Recent experiences have expanded her work to include several brilliant narrative paintings about the African continent and the plight of the people living there. “Patience” and “Mother Africa” are currently on display at the Virginia Tech/Carilion School of Medicine as part of their Creativity in Health Education program. More than 100 of her paintings are available at the Jane Lillian Vance Gallery in Roanoke, Virginia and are also found in private collections on four continents. In 2010 an award winning documentary: A Gift for the Village, was produced to chronicle the creation and delivery of her lineage painting about a Tibetan mind-healer to a remote village in Nepal.