The long version story of Jane & Pearl (as of 2022, is now Emily McClenagan Art) is below, but here are a few quick facts about me.
I was born and raised in Austin, Texas to a hilarious, artistic, and smart family (I'm one of four kids, third born, I feel ya all middle children). Studied Business at Texas A&M University (whoop) and landed my first real job at a small startup in Dallas that honestly wasn't too different from The Office.
Fast forward to meeting my husband while playing ultimate frisbee, a move to Wisconsin, identical twins, a move to Knoxville, and just one more baby later, here we are!
I'm a self-taught artist and paint with acrylic and watercolor.
What is Jane and Pearl? Jane and Pearl is an art business run by Emily McClenagan. I partner with non-profit organizations that support underprivileged families, women and children.
How did it start? After reading articles on the current refugee crisis and knowing friends on the front line in Iraq doing art therapy with Isis survivors, my heart was bursting with a way to respond to the tragedy coming out of the middle east.
"If you stand under an Iraqi sky at night and listen — you can hear a thousand heartbeats, waiting… hoping." - Ann Voskamp
At this time, we were raising twin one-year-old toddlers while my husband worked as a pastor. I wanted to give more financial support to those on the front lines while staying home with my toddlers. So I thought, "what do I have?" A little bit of nap time, and a love to create. I thought, what if profits from a painting could go to women and children fleeing Syria. I actually had two contacts working over there and I could give financial support directly to them.
But the burden to continue to support others would increase over the next few months.
I read "In Order to Live" by Yeonmi Park, and was moved by her story. Growing up in North Korea, Yeonmi's greatest motivation in escaping to China was an entire bowl of warm rice. That was it. Tragically, after making it to China as a teenager she was trafficked, bought and sold, for less than a hundred dollars the first time. She now had rice, but again had no freedom, and it's all she wanted. Simply to be free. To not be someone else's property.
A month later, I had a vivid dream involving my family. And in that moment, in my dream with devastation, I felt the weight of all the faceless, nameless, statistics of especially women and children being held in captivity. They are someone's daughter. I thought of their mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who want to fight for their freedom but can not.
"All suffering, injustice, poverty, and death will be ended. To pray 'thy kingdom come' is to 'yearn for that future life' of justice and peace." -Tim Keller
That's my prayer and purpose with the resources I've been given, to invest them in bringing heaven to earth.
Jane and Pearl. The middle names of my daughters and the motivation to remember the value and worth inherent in every single person. Each one is someone's child. Each one has immeasurable worth.
"The absurdity of a mad world only changes when we stop being deaf to the other —and have the audacity to listen to each other’s hearts — and respond." -Ann Voskamp