Jane Wheeler is a self -taught Bird Rock artist who retired from a 16-year career in event-planning to raise her two children, make home-cooked meals, volunteer at school, and devote more time to community art projects. She graduated with a business degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Several years ago she started the Bird Rock Artist Guild and recently completed the fifth and final bench in the Bird Rock Mosaic Bench beautification project.
She said she enjoys using a palate of colors that is luscious, vivid and joyful. When creating, she is focused on brightening every day life, covering ugly concrete with mosaics, and sending out positive messages to the community. Jane is most creative when hunting for treasures to put in her next mosaic or working like an alchemist in her studio listening to yoga music. Bringing art alive in the community is important to her.
What brought you to La Jolla?Living in Wisconsin all of my life and having the opportunity to travel and live in Europe after attending university, I was ready for a new adventure. My roommate from college, who had recently moved to the West Coast, sent me a birthday card asking me to move to San Diego. So I packed my one suitcase, bike, $500, and headed west.
What makes this area special to you?Being close to the ocean and the dynamic sunlight creates an energy that is positive and health oriented surrounded by the vastness of nature. Also, there is an openness and innovative/entrepreneurial spirit here that is refreshing and inspiring.
What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?Keep Art Alive in the community! La Jolla’s historical roots include the presence of an art colony. With programs such as The La Jolla Community Foundation Murals, this art element comes alive for all to experience and share.
Also, the La Jolla Art Association’s paintings on the garbage cans take something functional/utilitarian and give it a spin of creativity and spontaneity that enhances the downtown streetscape. One of my favorite quotes is “Art reflects the soul of the community,” from the Naples Museum of Art. I feel art is important and should be part of any thoughtful planning.
Who or what inspires you?My family, yoga, my friends, bike riding by the sea, travel, and the creative spirit.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?Of course, my husband (my patron of the arts), Jesus, Michelangelo, Henri Matisse, Antoni Gaudi, Buddha and Steve Jobs. And I would have us all cooking together to create various foods to share.
What are your favorite movies of all time?Those would be the adventure films of James Bond, Indiana Jones, and StarWars.
What is your most-prized possession?I treasure my family, my artistic abilities, and my yoga mat.
What characteristic about yourself do you like least?I don’t like it when I am out of balance from over scheduling myself.
What is your greatest accomplishment?For me it is more of a journey; I am always working at trying to enjoy the process versus an end goal. Being a mom and spouse in a fun, crazy family is the start. This led me to create various art programs/projects that have engaged students and members of our community to help beautify Bird Rock and the schools my children have attended.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?“Beautify the World” and “Love Your Community!” Do what you can to make this world better and more beautiful.