Born and raised in Utah, contemporary-realist painter Jenny Morgan now lives in New York, where she received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2008. But before that, she spent several years in Colorado, where she got her BFA at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in 2003.
Morgan’s time in Colorado was instrumental to her career in a number of ways. At the top of that list is her association with Irene Delka McCray at RMCAD. McCray helped Morgan refine her painterly vision; however, in no way is the student’s approach derivative of her teacher’s, even if there is clearly an affinity between them.
Another key Colorado connection came about when freelance art consultant Simon Zalkind introduced Morgan’s work to a mega-collector in the area, Wayne Yakes. Yakes’s sprawling, still-growing collection is characterized by his preference for sampling artists in depth, as he did with Morgan, acquiring more than two dozen of her paintings. The influence of McCray and the support of Yakes led directly to Jenny Morgan: Skin Deep, a striking solo now on view at MCA Denver; Yakes loaned all of the paintings in the show. Curated by Zoe Larkins, Skin Deep occupies the four connected galleries on the MCA’s main level, so there’s plenty of room to survey Morgan’s work from 2007 to last year.
Jenny Morgan: Skin Deep runs through August 27 at MCA Denver, located at 1485 Delgany Street. Call 303-298-7554 or go to mcadenver.org.