Janet A Bogardus

Greenback Gotham
60″x15″; acrylic and collage on canvas; 2022

Janet A Bogardus
Novato, California, USA


I am fascinated by cities, and by all their contradictions. One of humanity’s most creative inventions, radiant cities offer beauty, creativity, close community and opportunity, while they also exhibit some of our worst qualities–our indifference to suffering and astounding inequalities, our creation of blight and waste.

The paintings shown here are part of a series entitled “Tents and Towers,” in which I invite you to feel both kinds of urban reality. To create them, I mingled collage from my iPhone photos with acrylic painting, suggesting sublime, dreamlike skylines below which the collaged photo scraps bear witness to the reality “on the ground.”

Each work asks you to question which are most alive and creative: the dazzling towers of downtown, or the tenacious, bedraggled encampments of the unhoused.


Janet Bogardus is a San Francisco Bay Area painter and collage artist. Since 1989, she has exhibited her work at a variety of venues in California and New York, including solo exhibitions at Manna Gallery in Oakland, Benicia Arts Presents, Contra Costa College, and Marin Museum of Contemporary Art.

Born in Montreal, she spent her early life in many different countries, including Czechoslovakia, Algeria, Canada, Germany, Viet Nam and France. Living in a variety of environments and cultures has attuned her to the ways landscape and history intertwine, a focus which can be seen in all her work.

In 1990, she received an MFA from San Francisco State University with a concentration in printmaking and artist books. Her awards include the Stilwell Fellowship for excellence in creative work, a Kala Art Institute Fellowship, and California Arts Council Artist-in-Residencies. She has taught art at various San Francisco Bay Area venues. Her work can be viewed by appointment at her studio in Novato, California or at www.janetbogardus.net.


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