Jane Grant-Abban Captures St. Croix Valley Faces in Her Paintings

“A Walk with Mother” by Jane Grant-Abban.

Jane Grant-Abban never dreamed she’d be an artist. Growing up in England before moving to Wales, she always showed a distinct interest in the arts, but her career took her elsewhere: After graduating with degrees in business and education, she became an elementary teacher. Then in 2006, when she and her husband made the decision to move to Stillwater, everything changed.

“When you have a major life change like that, it’s really cool, because everything’s up for grabs,” Grant-Abban says. Stillwater provided some serious inspiration for Grant-Abban, whose husband encouraged her to cultivate her love of sketching and painting. “I was in an art gallery in Stillwater one day, looking around, and was really drawn to one particular artist’s work,” she says. When the curator informed her that it was Kami Mendlik, a local artist who led art classes (and was also featured in the May 2015 issue of St. Croix Valley Magazine), Grant-Abban signed up immediately.

Years (and many art mentors) later, Grant-Abban has become an accomplished artist herself, whose art now joins that of her teachers on gallery walls. “I love to paint people,” Grant-Abban says. “I’m a bit of a people stalker.” Many of her paintings feature children, perhaps serving as an echo of the time she spent as an elementary school teacher in Wales. At the moment, Grant-Abban is working on a series of portraits of local residents with great stories to tell.

Learn more about Jane Grant-Abban and her art as well as upcoming classes or events at her website here.