Jana - Profile

I grew up in Prague, a city steeped in history and culture. In my childhood, my cultural influences came mostly from my father. He was deeply interested in the arts, knowledgeable not only about classical music and art history, but especially about twentieth century painting. In his spare time he painted detailed, intricate compositions, influenced mainly by the artists of the thirties. I spent hours with him walking around the historic parts of Prague, visiting galleries and museums, absorbing that unique mixture of images that Prague offered back then, almost devoid of tourists, but also free of commercialism. 

I studied photography at the School of Graphic Arts in Prague, and for one year worked as a staff photographer at the Czechoslovak Film Studio. A book of photographs of the ancient Jewish Cemetery in Prague earned me a teaching assistantship at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts, in Philadelphia. During the next two years, I earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at that University.

The next five years I spent in Honolulu, Hawaii, where I worked for an advertising agency as a graphic artist. Upon return to New York, my husband, Jim Hayden, and I established a graphic arts and commercial printing company, which we jointly ran for many years.

Graphic arts, printing and photography have been the mainstay of my artistic expression for many years. In the early 1990’s, I started taking classes in ceramics and sculpture at Hofstra University, and developed keen interest in this new medium. I progressed through the various techniques, from wheel throwing to hand building functional items, and finally concentrating on producing sculptural pieces. The inspiration for these pieces came from nature, with its endless variety of shapes, textures and hues, especially from the color palette of muted and subtle tones.

From fall of 2009 until spring of 2014 I was a member of the Board of Directors of the Artists Alliance of East Hampton. In the summer of 2014 I returned to Hawaii, where I currently reside on the island of Maui. I continue concentrating on art, working both in clay and in photography. The beautiful environment of the Hawaiian Islands continues to inspire my artwork, which consists primarily of images of water reflections, textures and images of sand, trees, the ocean and the sky.


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