J A R E D   B E T T S

Jared Betts and Sheri Rush
Situations of Liminality and Transformation

Chase Gallery CHICAGO, IL
Epiphany Centre for the Arts

September 15, 2023 to November 4, 2023

Situations of Liminality and Transformation is a new exhibition by Chicago artist Sheri Rush and Canadian artist Jared Betts comprised of large-scale paintings on the threshold of abstraction and representation.

Rush and Betts were brought together through their shared reverence for the gift of nature, process-based painting, and the emotive power of color. Their synergies sparked the idea to co-create this bewitched portal to another world. They encourage the viewer to leave reality behind and immerse themselves in a colorful enchanted forest fantasy.

As symbolized in folklore, mythology, and contemporary fantasy worlds, woodlands can be places of darkness and danger or peaceful refuges of solace. After years of political turmoil and isolation, this exhibition offers an escape into a reflective, happy, and healing realm.

Explains Betts, "This series was a powerful phenomenological renewal experience. Each color is brought to the canvas with paint flowing like tidal moonpools, drips breathing life into puddles that tell secrets to brooks and lead into rivers that continue to fairy waterfalls, which flow to the ocean.

Rush recalls, "Even as a young girl, forests were my refuge, my solace, and extremely magical. Trees were not trees; they were characters on a stage, where I would look for forms that interacted and made visuals that felt like the dramas in my head." 

Rush's source material is her photographic journey through nature taken during a residency in Newfoundland. She starts each painting with spray paint and acrylic, adding markers and later oil paint. Exploring the unique properties of each medium is an essential part of her technique, as is rotating the canvas to paint from two different directions. Rush builds on processes and colors that emerged in her work during the pandemic.

Betts is heavily influenced by abstract expressionism, anime, and colors from the 80s. He admits to being drawn to Madonna's leopard pattern fashion era and cyberpunk future retro aesthetic. His approach incorporates gestures and organic forms, working in layers while exploring tensions between recognizable forms and abstraction.

Situations of Liminality and Transformation is an energetic painting dialogue, as much about the tensions between abstraction and representation as it is a reflection on the restorative power of the natural world. 

When was the last time you looked at the stars? I mean really looked, because there is a significant dissimilarity between looking and seeing. Every night I stand in the moonlight beside the river in my front yard and stare awestricken at the stars. We are more connected to the stars than we think, as the caterpillar connects to the chrysalis to be reborn as a nymphalidae. We came from the stars, I am a starchild and I know one day I will return to the stars and become part of a new constellation. There is so much magic in this world, words could never do proper justice to the sensations that I have been feeling in nature at my new fantasia forest house lately. Sometimes it feels like my heart might explode. Life is a miracle, a moon gate, nature is the source and we are each given gifts to uplift each other through color, kindness and butterfly forest dreams. I want to create paintings that make people feel like they are in a portal that they can safely get lost in, if not for a little while to escape reality into a color fantasy. This series was a powerful phenomenological renewal experience; the choice of my color palette is becoming honed + refined, through the experience of being a painters painter. Each color brought to the vicinity of the canvas, paint flowing like tidal moonpools, drips that breath life to puddles, who tell secrets to brooks, into rivers that lead to fairy waterfalls, which flow to the ocean.

Iridescent pulsing translucent neon plankton 

Shimmering in turquoise ocean nebulas

Sea stars of the abyss

Delusional fantasy swamp nymphs

The oak tree with its healing powers

Firefly’s in a wildflower dream meadow set a blaze

The tide chases the man in the moon 

Playing in the sunrise with sparos

Orchid ethereal starseed light prisms

Robins nest blue, baby blue, turquoise, azure, seafoam

Silk bubblegum pink cerebrum planet

The cortex vortex of artax in the swamps of sadness 

Energy light beings in a sugar plum tree

Away in the sea of red

About Jared Betts

PHOTO: Nancy Mann, St. Andrews, New Brunswick - mermaid flower mermaid adventure day 

Jared Betts earned a BFA from NSCAD University and has exhibited in over 200 exhibitions in Tokyo, Paris, New York, London, Iceland, Germany, Costa Rica, and across Canada.

Betts has received thirteen ArtsNB grants, a Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture, and Heritage grant, an Enterprise Greater Moncton business grant, and three New Brunswick Tourism, Culture, and Heritage grant. In addition, Jared has taken part in several artist residencies, from the land of fire and ice in Iceland and a castle in Ireland to spending half a year in the jungles of Costa Rica, resulting in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Costa Rica.

Jared Betts's paintings are included in numerous corporate and private collections in Paris, Toronto, Montreal, LA, China, Australia, and Iceland.


About Sheri Rush

Sheri Rush (b. 1959, Fort Worth, Texas) is a Chicago-based painter whose work responds to the current world by considering the intersection of identity, landscape, and digital image. Rush's work is process-driven, emphasizing immersion and physical impact through scale and color while deconstructing a journey in nature. 

Rush holds a BFA from Texas Christian University and an MFA from the University of Chicago. Recent exhibitions include the Rockford Art Museum, Freeport Art Museum, Ralph Arnold Gallery, The Art Center Highland Park, Arc Gallery, Hofheimer Gallery, Mu Gallery, James Baird Gallery in Newfoundland, solo shows at Hyde Park Art Center, Evanston Art Center, and Epiphany Center for the Arts. Recent awards include a fully funded residency to the Pouch Cove Foundation in Newfoundland and a grant from the Illinois Art Council Agency. 


DUAL SOLO SHOW WITH Kristina Søbstad
APRIL 22.22

Exhibition opening Friday, April 22nd at @christinaparkergallery in #stjohns #newfoundland 

Christina Parker Gallery is pleased to announce that we now represent Jared Betts. Symbiosis is his inaugural exhibition with the gallery.

Since earning a BFA from NSCAD University, Jared Betts has exhibited in over 200 exhibitions in places such as Tokyo, Paris, New York, London, Iceland, Germany, Costa Rica and all across Canada. His paintings are included in numerous corporate and private collections in Paris, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, China, Australia and Iceland. Jared’s significant accomplishments include exhibiting in Tokyo and at the National Gallery of Costa Rica, giving an artist talk at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and exhibiting in two group shows at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. 

He has completed residencies in Iceland, in a castle in Ireland, and spent half a year making friends with geckos and a praying mantis in the jungles of Costa Rica. He has an upcoming residency in Taipei, Taiwan.

Jared’s significant accomplishments include exhibiting in Tokyo and at the National Gallery of Costa Rica, giving an artist talk at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and exhibiting in two group shows at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Based in Moncton, New Brunswick, he is the recipient of eleven ArtsNB grants, as well as numerous Tourism, Culture and Heritage grants from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Kristina Søbstad  is a Norwegian-Canadian visual artist currently based between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada. Søbstad earned a BFA from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2010. Her work is primarily oil and acrylic on canvas as well as mixed media on paper.

Since 2007, Søbstad has participated in over 175 international group and solo exhibitions. Most recently, she completed a residency and exhibition with the Museum of Modern Art in Chiloé, Chile. In 2015, while exhibiting in Paris, Søbstad’s work was purchased by the Paris Francophilie Art Bank. Her work has since been featured on the cover of international, bestselling academic books such as Reaching Through Resistance by Dr. Allan Abbass.



Poster: Janel Damiani, Barbados

Instagram live with Katharine Burns: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMRkJBhlGTM/

NTV news: http://ntv.ca/features/backstage-pass

During the Covid-19 pandemic at the end of February 2021, Katharine Burns and I were brave enough to hop a flight over to Newfoundland to do a 2 month artist residency together at the Pouch Cove Foundation, run by James Baird. It turned out Pouch Cove was an even safer, more magical, more peaceful and absolutely more productive place to be for our art careers!

Katharine and I attended NSCAD University together over 10 years ago, we've kept in touch and it was really amazing to have the opportunity to do an artist residency and create a collaboration painting that I've been wanting to do together for years. Generally every month there is 8 studio spaces filled with international artists living and working at the Pouch Cove Foundation, but because of the pandemic it was only Katharine and I who were able to attend because we were within Atlantic Canada. It is an invite only program through James Baird and he also generously covers the living expenses, which is amazing. It was really interesting to have the large two story building (fantasy art hotel) and our own private studios all to ourselves with completely no other distractions. (I even told my friends and family, in the gentlest way possible to please leave me alone, I need to completely immerse myself in the Pouch haha, its what I needed and they all understood and it worked out). Even better, we weren't allowed to leave our studios by law, luckily our studios had everything we needed, even our groceries + a new blue Bud Light sweater, we were graciously looked after by Shane & Judy.  

When we first arrived we had to quarantine for 14 days, which was fine because that just meant we had to get right to work. I had thought Katharine said she was going to relax for a couple days before getting into her work, but literally day 1 she had plans for stretching canvas timelapses, gesso time lapses and well talk about hitting the ground running, which inspired me like woah. As much as I wanted to sit around watching anime, dreaming of elf princesses, fairies, mermaids and playing final fantasy games, I took a cue from her and day 1 I also got right to work, ordering canvas, stretching canvas and planning my painting attack plan. 

After the 14 days quarantine, we survived and were finally able to get out of the artist residency building and the ocean was literally 1 house away and we were greeted by an absolutely gorgeous seal who was really curious about us, which to me was an incredibly powerful sign that we were on the right track and in the right place. It was hard to see the ocean from our window, but not be able to sit by it for 14 days, but it was all worth it. Down the road 100ft there was a mermaid perch rock I'd sit on and the steepest boat slipway I've ever seen in my life (google Pouch Cove and it will show the history of the wild ewok village looking buildings that used to be on the boat launch). For the next two months, every day, all day, we painted, sometimes every two or three days we'd meet up to make some food then we would return to our studios to work. Every couple weeks we'd order sushi as a treat for being good lil art martyrs. Sometimes we'd leave messages by seashell in front of the doors to not disturb each other while we were in the flow of painting production.

Everything Katharine's paintbrush touches turns to gold, which is why I nicknamed her the "golden goose". All 4 of her paintings were commissions so they all sold and our collaboration sold. I am so incredibly proud of how far she's come since NSCAD pushing her work on a National level now and truly finding her voice through seascape, as an artist I've always wanted my friends to always succeed. I created 8 paintings in two months and half of them sold which was fantastic, she joked that I am the golden goose now. I came here to paint and get away from it all, not even with the intention of selling, but anytime is a great time for sales and as James Baird says "always be closing" (ABC). What hasn't sold here will be going to Studio 21 Gallery who represents me in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since being here I have met so many new amazing artist friends through Instagram who have their paintings here or have done a residency at the Pouch Cove Foundation. Once you experience the Pouch, its like a sacred bond, I feel. I am also really humbled by all of the new followers on my instagram, our collab went viral and all of the kind words were felt + very much appreciated! I look forward to keeping in touch with you all on future journeys. Up next is more painting in Moncton, New Brunswick, I have a new commission or two with Apple Art and I am the Executive Director of Moncton Taco Week happening June 16 - 30 and (you heard it here first) I will be doing the first year of Saint John Taco Week in September! When international travel re-opens, I have a 3 month artist residency already paid for in Taipei, so get ready for a lot of noodles, arcades, cyberpunk shorties, neon lights and paint, I'm hoping to be in Taiwan late Fall/early winter of 2021 if the pandemic fairies can work their magic! After Taipei, I have more planned, but we'll save that for later!

In closing, it was an absolutely phenomenal time, I thank Katharine Burns for inspiring me to take my instagramming to another level to properly document my process, I feel people really like to see behind the scenes and not just finished products. From tacos, anime, fish n chips, waterfalls, kung fu movies, Katharines first Gremlins viewing and of course all of the painting, I hit the instagram story section pretty hard and had a lot of fun hearing from other artists + followers. Thank you again Shane & Jude and to James Baird the master of Pouch Cove Foundation for allowing us to have this amazing professional opportunity. Please enjoy all the photos below.


Jared the Mermaid

 I am very grateful to acknowledge the support of artsnb with a Career Development - Artist in Residence grant.



 I am very grateful to acknowledge the support of the Department of Tourism, Heritage, and Culture.

Video: https://vimeo.com/jaredbetts

CBC video: https://www.cbc.ca/jaredbetts

Huddle article: https://huddle.today/artist-jared-betts

I am very grateful to acknowledge the support of the Department of Tourism, Heritage, and Culture.

Photos and video by: :Louis Philippe Chiasson



"Momentum," is a solo digital exhibition featuring Moncton based artist Jared Betts. We are currently living in uncertain times. Our gallery doors may be closed during this pandemic, but art will persevere and continue to unite us. "Momentum" is an experimental new show presented online to keep the love of art alive in our community and beyond.

Since April 27th, we have been posting paintings by Jared Betts online alongside a video from the artist discussing his work and vision for the show. All of the pieces are available to purchase online through our new digital store. Please remember: artists' careers rely upon your ongoing interest and investment in their work.

Jared Betts's paintings are included in numerous corporate and private collections in Paris, Toronto, Montreal, LA, China, Australia and Iceland. Jared earned a BFA from NSCAD University and has exhibited in over 150 exhibitions in Tokyo, Paris, New York, London, Iceland, Germany, Costa Rica and all across Canada. He is the recipient of nine artsnb grants, a Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture and Heritage grant, an Enterprise Greater Moncton business grant and a New Brunswick Tourism, Culture and Heritage grant.

Jared has taken part in several artist residencies, from the land of fire and ice in Iceland, a castle in Ireland to spending half a year in the jungles of Costa Rica resulting in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Costa Rica. Most recently, he gave an artist talk at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, completed a 100 foot mural in Halifax sponsored by Studio 21 Fine Art Gallery and exhibited at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

"Momentum" marks a new chapter for the Gallery as we experiment with digitizing our experiences going forward. These are trying times but we hope to use these new online formats to continue bringing our community together and share new works with everyone.

“My use of ethereal gesture and expressionist forms has since set the tone for my highly charged prismatic color field paintings. I aim to rethink the very parameters of contemporary painting, and my work touches on many pertinent and pressing concerns around the practice of chromatic mark making, and how these relate to artistic ideals in the 21st century. My martyristic paintings inhabit the space where consciousness descends into dream; where pattern and color expand to become an immersive sensory experience. In this celestial space, I seek to examine this dream-like suppression of recognizable imagery and capture the visceral sensations with the sublime nature of drips and the colorfield. Multiple layers of tension – between the duality of conscious and subconscious surrealist automatism, flat surface and illusory depth – propel my Aquarian desire to use visual cues as a means of stimulating ascending metaphysical sensation.”


CYBERPUNK The word cyberpunk was coined by writer Bruce Bethke, who wrote a story with that title in 1980. He created the term by combining "cybernetics," the science of replacing human functions with computerized ones, and "punk," the raucous music and nihilistic sensibility that became a youth culture in the 1970s and '80s. Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a dystopian futuristic setting that tends to focus on the society of the proverbial "high tech and low life"; featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as information technology and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order. Much of cyberpunk is rooted in the New Wave science fiction movement of the '60s and '70s, when writers like Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny, John Brunner, J.G. Ballard, Philip Jose Farmer and Harlan Ellison examined the imapct of drug culture, technology, and the sexual revolution while avoiding the utopian tendencies of earlier science fiction. Common motifs of cyberpunk include, Posthumanism/Dehumanization, Industrialism / Corporatocracy, Alienation / Isolation, Rebellion / Revenge, Philosophical / Psychological Allegories
"Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, a ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body."

KAWAII(かわいい, pronounced [kaɰaiꜜi]; "lovable", "cute", or "adorable") is the culture of cuteness in Japan. It can refer to items, humans and nonhumans that are charming, vulnerable, shy, and childlike. The original definition of Kawaii came from Lady Murasaki's 11th century novel The Tale of Gengi, where it referred to pitiable qualities during the Shogunate period under the ideology of neo-Confucianism.

FANTASY By definition, fantasy is a genre that typically features the use of magic or other supernatural phenomena in the plot, setting, or theme. Magical or mythological creatures often feature, as well as races other than humans, such as elves, demons, trolls, mermaids, succubi, dwarves, dragons, fairies, gnomes, ogres, unicorns or goblins.

This series can be split into two more components, 1) inspiration from my travels to Tokyo 3 years ago and 2) also inspired by my butterfly panels that are mounted permanently on the banks of the Petitcodiac River in Moncton, Canada and reference a 1995 outdoor art project “Night Glow Highway”. I conducted research in the New Brunswick Museum insect collection for this series with a continuation of the moth + butterfly motif along with a new exploration of new materials and neon pastel cyber punk funk. This series was made at Imago Screen Printing Studio in Aberdeen Cultural Centre in Moncton.


Jared Betts’ series Nymphalidae Phosphorescence is an elegy to Night Glow Highway 1995. By returning to the same site on the banks of the Petitcodiac River, this project enables passers-by to revisit the original exhibition in a new light. Betts has drawn on the technical, formal, and iconographic elements of the panels made at the time to produce a new series, while simultaneously making reference to the hybrid techniques of Paul Édouard Bourque, to the large wings of George Blanchette’s Anges déchus, and to the natural subjects taken from the surrounding marsh by Marc Cyr and Nat Snider.

Faithful to his practice of rendering the natural world abstract, Betts carried out research at the New Brunswick Museum in order to sample the patterns and colours of its collection of indigenous and exotic butterflies. The work’s title evokes his interest in these insects that have a surreal beauty: nymphalidae is the scientific term for the largest family of butterflies and phosphorescence is an allusion to their often dazzling colours.

After having gathered enough material to prepare his compositions, Betts became engrossed in his creation, carrying out technical experiments at the Imago Artist-run Print Shop. The formal innovations that came out of this exploratory work were then amalgamated with his signature pictorial style and fluorescent chromatic scale. His large abstract compositions exist in harmony with the surrounding landscape and offer passers-by the opportunity to plunge momentarily into the realm of the imaginary. Jared’s butterfly panels are mounted permanently in an outdoor exhibition on the banks of the Petitcodiac. The project was curated by Elise Anne Laplant & Michelle Drapeau.


Pictus consists of a series of large-scale acrylic paintings on canvas, by Moncton based artist Jared Betts. Created during the winter months of 2018-19, these works are part of a major show currently touring Atlantic Canada. The exhibition is curated by Paul Édouard Bourque.

Jared Betts is currently engaged in exploring cutting edge expression modes in the field of contemporary painting. His use of gesture and expressionist forms has since the onset set the tone for his highly charged pictorial works. Betts aims at rethinking the very parameters of contemporary painting, and his work as such touches on many pertinent and pressing concerns around the practice of chromatic mark-making, and how these relate to artistic ideals in the 21st century.

Betts confronts the picture plane with bravado and panache. Application and treatment of pigmented matter relies on a zen-inspired attitude mastered by the artist who “gazes trance-like at the surface, until the piece happens…”. Painting such as this requires a definite sang-froid and the mastery of one’s state of mind. The realization of a self-contained, autonomous body of work results from Betts’ full-time commitment to the exploratory adventure around mark-making and structural use of colour as a construction strategy for the picture.

Betts has travelled extensively and has benefited from many artist residencies throughout the world. His rapid absorption of other cultural mores has resulted in a global stance, but also a very intimate and personal one, in regards to what it signifies for an artist to articulate and express visual ideas and ideals onto a blank canvas, while maintaining a deep commitment towards the graphic expression of abstraction and form. His vision resonates within contemporary concepts relating to site, space and time. His strong ties to itinerancy and travel underline the inescapable passage of time; sequence allied to process becomes manifest in these large canvases, whose aim seeks to engulf the viewer’s imagination with vibrancy, action and life.

Paul Édouard Bourque

Model: Emma Lee 


Spring in Montreal 2016

Montreal, Quebec