Fort Worth Community Arts Center


Edge of a Story

Vista Gallery - Edge of a Story

Exhibition on Display: April 16, 2021 - June 26, 2021

Works by Dan Jian

Artist Statement

My work explores landscape as a motif and metaphor that conveys a depth of meaning through the reductive representation of form. As an immigrant, I find landscape acquires meaning through memories. Through reflection and recollection, we are the subjects overwriting a landscapeís original narrative while holding the potential of all future memory. The current work draws pictorial references from Buddhist mural painting in Tang dynasty caves, China (Mogao Caves at Dunhuang), in which stories and narratives are constantly shifting due to the flattened and sometimes ambiguous background. Examining this characteristic, I explore shifts in meaning by re-contextualizing familiar traditional painting motifs and making new points of connection between people, places, and narrative. Working with oil on paper, I blend quotidian environs with non sequitur images to capture a narrative that remains mysterious enough to invite personal associations and imaginings. Each work is an open-ended formal search that examines how culture builds myths, defines what's ordinary, and incites emotion.

Artist Bio

Dan Jian (b.1986, Hubei, China) is a visual artist who works across painting, drawing, and project-based installation. She received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and from the Ohio State University, she gained her MFA with a minor in Comparative Study.

Dan's recent solo show and two-person shows include Coburn Gallery in Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, 934 Gallery and Sean Christopher Gallery in Columbus, OH; Organhaus Contemporary Art Space in Chongqing, China. Her group work was exhibited nationally across the US, as well as internationally in China and Italy. Her awards and endorsements include a recent RCAF project grant from Texas Christian University, Certificate of Merit from the Philadelphia Watercolor Society, Arts and Humanities Graduate Research Grant at Ohio State University, as well as Finalist for the Don Bachardy Fellowship in London, UK.

Dan is a recent residency alumnus of Ragsdale Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Keeping an on-going studio practice. Dan currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and works at Texas Christian University.


The Arts Council of Fort Worth was formed in 1963 to provide funding and leadership to stimulate and assure the advancement of the arts throughout Fort Worth. Todayís Arts Council continues to promote, nurture, and support the arts in Fort Worth by providing fiscal and business resources to local artists and arts groups while also serving the community through management of the Fort Worth Public Art Program and Fort Worth Community Arts Center. The Arts Council of Fort Worth is supported in part by the City of Fort Worth and the Texas Commission on the Arts. For more information, please visit

Located at 1300 Gendy Street, the Fort Worth Community Arts Center is part of the most architecturally significant museum districts in the United States, Fort Worthís Cultural District. The Arts Centerís mission promotes experienced and emerging artists with nine indoor galleries and an outdoor courtyard gallery. The Arts Centerís Hardy and Betty Sanders black box theatre and the William Edrington Scott Theatre hosts a wide range of performances by local and nationally known artists and organizations. The historically significant building is home to artistsí studios, nonprofit arts organization office suites, and classrooms. Learn more at