Philadelphia-based artist Alex Jackson will present his work at the University of Wisconsin for the Spring 2024 Visiting Artist Colloquium Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Jackson’s work with painting, drawing and print-making illuminates a sense of storytelling, myth-making and role-building through narrative and fiction to inspire others to see his art in a new light.

Born in Milwaukee and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jackson’s life as a child was surrounded by art. He grew up in a home where almost everything was handcrafted, so he knew art was something he always wanted to do and believed that art is instilled in him. His dad was a very creative person with an artistic career and his inspiration for art comes from a way of life that reflects attention to objects and detail.

Jackson returns to UW as an alum after receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2015 for painting and drawing, and later received his Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in 2017 for painting and printmaking.

“Art is my way of thinking and processing information,” Jackson said. “It’s a way of life — a way of being in a world that’s generous, empathic, and caring. Art is a way to hold space for attention.”

Jackson finds motivation for pursuing art through the means of “slowness,” a term he uses to describe how art is one of the few things you can do that forces you to slow down and really look at things. Curiosity is also a motivator for a lot of his work. For Jackson, art acts as a reminder to not take anything for granted.

With a plethora of pieces ranging from oil on canvas to acrylic on panel, Jackson has a deep-rooted love for each piece he has created. There is not one piece he can pinpoint to be his favorite.

“Everything that I’ve made has taught me something different,” Jackson said. “I am most excited about whichever piece is most recent because everything is informed by the piece prior.”