Jan Reaves: 1945–2018

We are deeply saddened to share the news that Jan Reaves (b. 1945), died Sunday July 29, 2018, from complications related to cancer. Jan began exhibiting her work at The Laura Russo Gallery in 1989 and continues to be part of Russo Lee Gallery. Her connection to the Northwest arts community was deep, having been a student at the Museum Art School in Portland (now PNCA), and receiving her BFA and MFA from the University of Oregon in Eugene. She taught at the U of O from 1988–2018, and inspired a passionate following among her students. Her nuanced, gestural abstract paintings were exhibited regionally and nationally, and she was featured four times in the Portland Art Museum’s Oregon Biennial, winning the Juror’s award in 2001. Jan’s work explored the natural world and the body through the language of gesture, nuanced color, and materiality. She sought to make paintings that inspired memories and the imagination, triggering familiarity and wonder. The natural world inspired much of her own wonder and joy. Jan will be deeply missed by her family, friends, students, and all of us at the gallery.