With the Grain: Jason Middlebrook's Arresting Paintings on Wood
July 19, 2015 | 3:32 pm CDT

Artist Jason Middlebrookʼs paintings using wood as material in an homage to nature with an emphasis on the tree. Middlebrook explains: “Instead of making work about man's misunderstanding of nature I am making work that embraces natureʼs endless visual gifts and complexities of it's processes. In the past I chose to comment on man's fear and destruction of the environment. In recent years I'm more interested in a collaboration with nature, a deeper look at nature.” Jason Middlebrook, born 1966 in Michigan and based in New York, has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and in Europe since 1994 when he graduated from San Francisco Art Institute. Exhibition history includes Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York; The Aldrich Museum, Connecticut; The Aspen Museum, Colorado; Palazzo delle Papesse, Italy and The Whitney Museum. In 2010 the artist had two major commissions that were completed, The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago as part of the exhibit Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy curated by Lynne Warren.

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.