Jenean Hornbuckle paints mainly on canvas, creating large landscapes of natural scenes. Born on the Qualla Boundary, Jenean attended Swain County High School, Appalachian State University, and finally Western Carolina University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in painting. She is a founding member of the Seven Clans Art Guild.
“I am an artist because there is a memory in my blood that reminds me constantly who I am,” says Jenean whose mother is Cherokee Nation and father is Eastern Band of Cherokee. “I am a combination of that history.” Part of that heritage is a born love of place. “There is no place I would rather be than in these woods, mountains, and streams that make up Western North Carolina” Jenean explains. She hopes her paintings inspire to get out in the woods more. “People nowadays are so seldom in the woods alone; but if you are viewing one of my paintings, you the viewer are alone in the woods-on a rock, on a ridge. And somehow, even if for that one brief moment, there is a solace and a safety there. And there is a knowing; that we are born into these woods, and our ancestors were born into these woods, and we are home.”
Jenean’s works can be seen throughout Cherokee, in Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and Cherokee Indian Hospital and in Asheville at Memorial Mission Hospital. She also has a large piece showcasing the Cherokee creation story on display at the Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
“I just want to keep painting” Jenean says of her work. In the future she hopes to use natural elements and create her own canvas. Like her ancestors before her, Jenean will look to the woods for this.
Some of Jenean’s newest work: