Jenn Hassin - A Life Of Service

Episode 25 · April 21st, 2018 · 1 hr 12 mins

About this Episode

"If everyone that wants to make a difference, just started making and taking those steps to actually make a difference, then imagine the world we would live in. I think that doing good today is invaluable and we need it. Just do it. Just start. Just take the necessary steps to make it happen."

Jenn Hassin cares about the world we live in and is trying to figure out what we can do as a society to make it a better place. Her artwork is often focused on raising the awareness of important issues like veteran suicide, sexual abuse in the military, and mental health. She believes in community engagement and tries to bring people together to help connect them, especially when it comes to the gap between civilians and veterans, which she feels an obligation to help bridge as a veteran herself. This often happens around the creation of a new artwork where she gets a diverse group of people together and involved to help make the piece, a kind of art therapy.

Like a Trojan horse some of her work presents itself as beautiful landscapes and arrangements of hand made rolled paper but when you look into the meaning of a piece you cant help but be introduced to and informed about the serious topics Jenn believes we should all take issue with, contemplate, and ultimately make action to change or improve. Defeating ignorance is the mission and intent.

Humble small town beginnings along with an unstable family life growing up contributed to her hard working ethic and leadership qualities. Luckily she also had some great mentors in her community. Soon after finishing high school she enlisted in the Air Force and fate took her to the UK where she worked as a dental technician. On her way to becoming a dentist in college after leaving the military she found art and switched her major. Her career and studio practice continue to evolve as she strives to address issues, work on commissions, and experiment with new directions and ways of expressing herself. And she is about to embark on a new chapter in her career by attending grad school in New York City.

You might or might not be able to tell in the interview that Jenn and I have been good friends and neighbors for many years. I think her work is really important and I'm very happy to see her expanding her world and future. No doubt she will keep up the hard work and be a voice for the issues that are not addressed and dealt with enough. All the best to her and her family on their new adventure. Have a listen and get involved if you can with anything that might be of service to others. You likely will not regret it.

Some of the subjects we discuss:

Humble beginnings
Weevil logo/Her mission
Growing up with violence
Starting work/Staying busy
Early mentors
Military service
Sexual abuse
Mental health stigma
Veteran suicide
Making paper
A Battle Lost
Pursuing art/St. Edwards
Letters of Sacrifice
Rolled paper
Condolence letter
Rejection/The Pentagon
Community engagement
Studio practice/Commissions
Grad School/Pratt
Move to NYC
Legacy/Call to action

Banner photo: A Battle Lost
rolled paper handmade from military uniforms &
gold foil & matte medium
101" x 52" x 6"

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