Jason Travers received a BA in Studio Art from Moravian College and an MFA in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches design and studio art courses in Lehigh University’s Department of Art, Architecture and Design where he has been employed since 1999. Travers has also instructed courses at Kutztown University and the Baum School of Art and his work has been featured in numerous exhibitions both locally and nationally. Travers has served as Artist-in-Residence for Acadia National Park, Platte Clove Preserve in the Catskills and was selected as a finalist for the 2019 program in Shenandoah National Park.
In the summer of 2014, I had my first experience as an Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park in Maine. To be immersed in the creative process away from day-to-day distractions and technology for an extended period of time was a truly liberating and profound experience that provided me with a renewed sense of focus and creative energy that resulted in ground-breaking new work and also created momentum for my return to the studio.
For many years my studio painting evolved as nature-based abstraction existing in a more psychological space, but there was always the continued desire to experience the natural world and record my observations. Recently, I have gravitated toward smaller backpack-sized landscape studies to facilitate my hiking explorations with a more limited yet accessible medium. These sketches range in duration from an hour or two to multiple-day sittings, and are always completed on site. The experience of recording these observations, visually surveying every detail and nuance of my surroundings, results in a product that documents the full experience in a way that a simple memory or camera snapshot could never replicate. When I revisit each of my completed sketches, I am instantly transported back to a specific place and time and can recount every sensory facet of the experience. These works become a journal of my collective experiences.