Nature's Projection: Jesse Colin Jackson’s New Exhibition Brings the Arts Outdoors

Rendering of "Plein-Air en Plein Air" by Jesse Colin Jackson for the Langson IMCA

Associate Dean Jackson’s "Plein-Air en Plein Air" for Langson IMCA unveils historical California landscapes in outdoor exhibition at UCI

“Plein-Air en Plein Air,” a play on words meaning "outdoors in the outdoors," allows us to experience historical California landscapes in their intended environment—outdoors. Commissioned by the UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art (Langson IMCA) and conceived by Jesse Colin Jackson, professor of art at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, this exhibit orchestrates a captivating dialogue between technology and nature. It unfolds as a series of projections showcasing historical paintings of California landscapes from the 19th and 20th centuries onto the modern-day architectural canvas of UCI’s Social Sciences buildings.

“Plein-Air en Plein Air” promises an unparalleled encounter with seminal works from Langson IMCA’s collection of California art. Jackson emphasizes, “By projecting small-scale paintings of California landscapes at an expansive scale, the impact of the expressive brush strokes and vivid colors will come to life in new ways and for new audiences.”

Evoking an "experience that unfolds over time," the motif of light permeates the exhibition as the projections gradually intensify with the setting sun and transition into the night. Jackson adds that “Plein-Air en Plein Air” also offers the opportunity to “experience UCI’s landscape and architecture with fresh eyes and reminds us of the ever-changing nature of light and its enduring impact on our California experiences."

Hailing from Canada but rooted in Southern California, Jackson's background in architecture and engineering permeates his artwork, which draws inspiration from urban planning and contemporary environments. At UCI, Jackson holds multiple roles including Associate Professor of Electronic Art & Design in the Department of Art, Associate Dean of Research and Innovation at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, and Executive Director for the Beall Center of Art + Technology. "Plein-Air en Plein Air" represents a convergence of his expertise, seamlessly blending historical landscapes with modern architecture and technology against the backdrop of UCI’s unique natural and contemporary setting.

The exhibit debuts at 7 p.m. on April 12 and concludes at midnight on April 14. For more information, visit the Langson IMCA event page here.

Images: Renderings of "Plein-Air en Plein Air" by Jesse Colin Jackson for the Langson IMCA