Tree in meadow landscape painting by Frank Janca

The MGCCC Jackson County Fine Arts Gallery is proud to announce the opening of the exhibit “Mississippi: The French Connection,” featuring the artwork of Frank Janca. The show will open January 4 and will run until February 26. A virtual exhibit and artist interview will complement the show at Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Entry to the gallery is offered at no cost, and the exhibit is open to the public.

Frank Janca is an artist whose work draws upon his highly developed personal sensitivity toward nature and from his study of the classical tradition of the Old Masters. The artist’s approach to his subject, acquired from over 30 years of painting, is marked by careful study, acute observation, and a particular kind of passion for the physicality of paint and the play of light that animate and illuminate his landscapes, still lifes, and portraits.

Although born in Maryland, Janca grew up in Biloxi before leaving as a young man for New York City to study at the Art Students League, where he worked with Robert Beverly Hale and David Leffel and the School of Visual Arts.

Janca has moved in artistic directions that set him apart from all but a few of his contemporaries. He insists on grinding pigments by hand, cooking his own oil mediums, and underpainting his carefully prepared and gessoed Belgium linen canvases with grisaille, much as artists had done for centuries before commercially prepared paints became available in the mid-19th century….and all this before applying his paint to canvas. This kind of disciplined effort, in and of itself, would be an academic exercise without bringing the kind of talent and artistry that Janca brings to his subject.

The artist’s appreciation for the use of light and shadow found in the works of Velasquez and other Baroque masters of the 17th century have led him to focus on similar concerns in his own work.

“Velasquez composed the light so beautifully that he makes you see more colors than he’s actually put down,” Janca explains. “Designing the light in the painting is my first concern.”

This is readily apparent in his still life works in which objects are enveloped in a warm luminosity that brings out the contrasting surfaces, forms and textures of the vases, teapots, figurines, fruits and flowers that are sensitively arranged for the eye to slowly play across the spaces they inhabit.

The exhibit features more than 40 works depicting landscape, still life, and portraiture in oils, etchings, and giclee prints. For more information, contact Gallery Director Marc Poole at or (228) 497-7684.

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