Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.

Irish artist, teacher and businesswoman

Former SU professor, Jan Navales makes and sells textile screenprint art from her studio in the Delavan Center.

Alone in a quaint, cluttered studio at the Delavan Center in downtown Syracuse, Jan Navales crafts fabric art, with a distinct Irish upbringing, and more than 30 years experience. A self-taught artist, Navales returned to her hometown in Syracuse to create and market her work full-time.

“I’m probably one of the few artists that doesn’t know whether she’s a businessperson or an artist first,” Navales says. “I know I’m an artist first, but a lot of artists don’t know what to do. I give workshops on how to take it to the next level.”

Photo: Evan Klonsky
Navales prepares and sells custom work at an expo at Eureka Crafts in downtown Syracuse.

Part of that includes selling her work on eBay and designing custom pieces for customers. When she’s not busy screen-printing or dying fabrics in her studio – where she stays six, sometimes seven days a week – Navales finds time to teach aspiring artists pattern-design techniques on fabrics and film.

Her broad teaching knowledge stems from experience at Syracuse University, where she spent nine years teaching in the School of Art and Design.

More than anything, Navales came back to her roots in Syracuse after years living abroad and in other areas for the city’s budding art community. Here she has found a market for both her artwork and her teaching. Yet most importantly she reunited with her old friend Bill Delavan, whom she called “the greatest supporter of the arts in New York state, outside of maybe New York City.”

Back at the Delavan Center, she has again found the cheap, quiet space where she first developed her artistic style that’s truly one of a kind. While that style will continue to change (and grow), her location likely won’t. As she’s apt to say, this time she’s here to stay.  And she couldn’t be happier.

“I love Celtic art because my family is from Ireland,” she says. “It has really strong meaning behind it with Mother Earth and taking care of nature. And the intricate lines behind the Trinity knot, which is a reminder that you create your own balance in life.”

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.