Studio Joy

Studio Joy is a dream come to fruition in 2014. My husband and I took the leap when we found the perfect live/work space to expand our individual and collective dreams. Physically located in the heart of Kansas City, MO, Studio Joy was once a repair shop for Greenlease Cadillac in the 1930-50s. The expansive 5000 square foot space is shared with Scott Jolley Production Services. Both of creative minds, our dreams work well side by side, and we have the fortune of living in the home attached to the old auto body shop. The buildings were not well cared for over the past several decades. We are working on refurbishing and bringing the bones back to health while also honoring the historical character of the buildings as we tend to the exterior.

Our new home when we took ownership.
Our new home when we took ownership.

Studio Joy will be a work in progress for a few years. We have made an intentional decision to move at the speed of life rather than force the changes in stress. Welcome to our ever improving home. I’ll be sure to add photos as the exterior changes.

Operational Philosophy

Studio Joy operates from a joy-based foundation with an emphasis on experimentation and intuitive play. You will meet instructors that offer shalom and non-judgment as they teach from their unique and exceptional artistic voices. You may also notice expansive gaps between workshops and offerings. These gaps allow me the time to offer private classes for groups such as KCRM Women’s Center and The Justice Project, as well as allowing space to nurture and further develop my own path as an artist. Studio Joy often has the door open, literally, giving opportunity to local artists to complete larger projects, or just spend time working in community.

Local muralist, Alexander Austin, working on a commission at Studio Joy.
Local muralist, Alexander Austin, working on a commission at Studio Joy.

Amanda Jolley

The search for greater meaning in life can often be a catalyst to change. This is the case for Amanda Jolley, and the change was radical, from accountant to artist. The inspiration for her work comes from a observation of the patterns found in every day life, and how they complement and often mirror the connections in the brain and processing of the subconscious.

Amanda was raised in a rural environment in the Midwest, her father a farmer from a line of farmers. She felt a profound draw to the earth and the prairie, to the cycles of nature. Her creativity was nurtured through an emphasis in music. She was also able to express herself through writing and dance. Approaching the age for college, she chose a career in accounting due to her appreciation and interest in numbers and patterns. After obtaining a BBA with a major in accounting, she quickly obtained a CPA certificate. It took less than a decade as an accountant for Amanda to acknowledge her career choice left her drained and empty. This void compelled her to search for fulfillment which was discovered through creative expression. The more time she spent in artistic process, the closer to true self she felt. At the point Amanda declared herself an artist, she finally felt at home within herself.

While working through the process of discovering her true self, a distinct pattern emerged, symbols began revealing themselves in her work. Upon further pushing into the symbology, she began to notice other distinct designs mirrored in nature and the brain. Her work reflects the patterns emerging from the subconscious both in her encaustic painting and in her paper folding. She appreciates the ability to create marks concealed and revealed in the layers of the encaustic wax, and found an inner language of the subconscious emerged in the form of landscape. Layer upon layer of seeming chaos settled to translatable and recognizable form.  The study of patterns is further examined by the folding of tessellations on paper and encaustic monotypes, incorporating these fold patterns and folded papers into her paintings and as standalone works.

Open Back Hexagon Twist, 6×6 Elephant Hide Paper and Encaustic

Amanda’s studio, aptly named, Studio Joy, is a dream come to fruition in 2014. Physically located in the heart of Kansas City, MO, Studio Joy was once a repair shop for Greenlease Cadillac in the 1930-50s. The expansive 5000 square foot space is shared with Scott Jolley Production Services, a video production business owned and operated by Amanda and her husband Scott. Both of creative minds, their dreams work well side by side, and they have the fortune of living in the home attached to the old auto body shop.

Prior to moving into Studio Joy, her studio space was carved from a room of their home at the time. The dimensions of the room were limiting to both size and scope of work, but she found that the limits also were a catalyst for creative thinking prompting her to scale her work and concepts to a workable size.

At Studio Joy, Amanda now has the freedom to work large. She also utilizes the studio space by teaching encaustic workshops and inviting guest artists to instruct at her studio location.

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Without formal education in art, Amanda’s artistic training has been intentional; finding artists whose work compels her and then studying under them through workshops and personal instruction. She regularly meets and works with other artists to propel process, ideas, and larger artistic vision. She is also a member of the Kansas City Artists Coalition, the International Encaustic Artists, and Origami USA, all organizations the nurture and support her path as an artist. In the past 8 years, Amanda’s paintings are regularly shown both in solo and group exhibits such as the River Market Regional Exhibit at the Kansas City Artists Coalition and at events such as the OrigamiUSA 2016 Convention. She is published in Encaustic Revelation by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, North Light Books, and was the 2014 Jan-Feb Featured Artist for Enkaustikos.

Outside of art, Amanda spends her time reading, writing, and discussing philosophy. She has a passion for sharing the healing properties of art with a distinct segment of the Kansas City population, exploited women, and spends much of her time planning projects to promote healing. Amanda also continues to use her business degree to run the video production business and her studio. She enjoys the challenge of balancing the two very different parts of her life, art and business and finds that she pulls skills from each area to strengthen the other.

Artist Statement

My paintings are about the inner landscape of the mind. Many layers of encaustic paint build on each other as the subconscious is allowed a voice. Some of the layers are quite chaotic, some are geometric and orderly, yet they all build to a translatable landscape.

I work intuitively, so often an image or pattern will appear that defines an emotion or thought with which I’ve been wrestling internally. I then expand and explore the pattern to find out more about what it has to say. The geometric portion of my imagery is highly influenced by the origami I often fold. The crease patterns that are created when folding the origami often reveal themselves in lines in my paintings. The remaining imagery appears intuitively, often influenced by recent experiences.

Crease Pattern
Crease Pattern

I begin with layers of encaustic medium which is clear, and then build random geometric shapes on top of that with both encaustic and oil paint. Layer upon layer, each has a distinct voice different from the one beneath. In the end, most of these layers are concealed with hints of what lies beneath speaking through the surface layers.

My technique is very loose and messy, yet comes together cohesively into a translatable form. I work quickly with little thought to the end product. I also work on several paintings at a time. The under layers can look very similar, yet the finished paintings will each have a distinct voice. As intuitively as it is created, the end of the piece is determined when it feels finished.

My initial artistic expression was quite figurative and literal, expressions of areas of emotional healing I was experiencing in my life. At some point, I tapped into the part of my brain that did not express in definable figures, but rather seemed an inner language with its own patterns and voice, an abstraction of the subconscious. Fascinated by this inner language, I continue to paint and allow it to be my teacher.