Jeff Horwat is an artist, a teacher, and a writer who currently works as an assistant professor of fine arts where he directs the art education program at Indiana University South Bend. He has taught art in both K-12 and higher education for more than 10 years and has presented his artwork and scholarship in many different venues including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Fort Worth, San Diego, Sacramento, Louisville, Hartford, and New Bedford. He currently resides in Chicago.
Jeff's current scholarship and creative practice draw from arts-based research methods to visually explore intersections between surrealism, Buddhist philosophy, and psychoanalytic theory. Many of his illustrative artworks take place in an ambiguous psychological realm presented as a checkerboard labyrinth where wind-up toy figurines act out different roles, performing different components of the human psyche, to tell narratives related to some aspect of the human condition. Themes explored in these narratives interrogate and problematize both Buddhist and psychoanalytic theory's constructions of desire, belief, identity, love, creative, purpose, and power. These theoretical explorations are done visually, through the creation of allegory and parable as means to present and share complex theories in suggestive and more accessible ways.
The current iteration of the website melds the traditional artist website orientation with an autoenthographic research journal as a means to align itself with the arts-based research methods Jeff employs in his scholarship. The website categorizes traditional digital image galleries as Projects, each containing a gallery with high resolution images of artwork; a project overview that provides an autoenthographic artist statement; and a works cited section that lists sources referenced in the project overview. The intention is to frame each series of artworks as different arts-based research projects.