Jody Cramer
Santa Fe, New Mexico

What shaped the vision of your artwork?

Jody graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Fine Arts, Art Education and Religion. As an award-winning art teacher in the Midwest, Jody became proficient in a wide variety of artistic techniques, but growing up Mid-Century Modern helped shape her personal aesthetic. “My Dad designed our contemporary ranch-style home in Grand Rapids, and it was unlike any other house in the neighborhood. Visitors often commented that our house felt like an art gallery, featuring Herman Miller furniture, African & Mexican sculpture, a Nelson Bench and Bubble Lights hanging from the ceiling. The walls were covered with original artwork created by my Dad in addition to prints by Picasso, Modigliani, Miro, Klee, Van Gogh, Rouault and Gauguin to name a few. My father was a very talented artist with the ability to capture realistic portraits in his oil paintings, but his true love was always modern art and architecture, even painting murals right on the interior walls of our house.”

Photograph from the 1960s of Jody’s quad-level childhood home with modern décor and the Paul Klee inspired mural her father painted on the wall.

"I have been interested in dimensionality and visual perception for as long as I can remember, and my father was definitely the impetus for that,” she commented in reference to the origin and nature of her artwork.

Sam Cramer was also born and raised in Grand Rapids, however he joined the military during World War II and experienced a life-altering injury while serving overseas. “Before he met my mother, he was stationed in England when an explosion with shrapnel abruptly ended his military service and he was flown back to an Army Hospital with both eyes wrapped in bandages, not even knowing if he would ever be able to see again. He was lucky to retain vision in one eye and had a perfectly matched plastic eye when he met my mother Millie in Annapolis, Maryland. Since my father only had one eye, we always discussed visual perception and the fact that he had no depth of field vision. I even wore a black patch over one eye for a while to help understand the major impact it had on how he saw the world. As he would periodically need to replace his prosthetic eye, I accompanied him on an appointment and saw how they recreated his hazel flecked iris color and placed synthetic veins in the form of individual red silk threads. He has since passed away, but my Dad always had such a positive attitude and great sense of humor, even allowing me to use his old plastic eyes in art projects and as a teaching tool in my classroom. My artwork incorporates so many of the elements that express my love of art and awaken the responsive eye while also stimulating visual processing in unique and creative ways.”

"The field of art can be very subjective and I realize that everyone has unique opinions. When people tell me they have never seen anything like it before, or ask how I did that, it is validation of what I set out to accomplish,” she commented.

A collection of the prosthetic eyes that belonged to her father.

“I am excited to be among the artists exhibiting at the inaugural World of Art Showcase at the Wynn Resort and Casino,” said Jody, who was in Las Vegas for the event. Click here for a list of artists who featured their work at the Wynn Resort.

Jody Cramer works on Tulip Mania Connecting the Dots, planning 4 of the 9 panels, at her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, surrounded by Mid-Century Modern furniture from her childhood.

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