North Salem resident Jennie Carr is December’s featured artist at Hayfields Market


Jennie Carr sits inside her vintage Chevy pickup truck. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

If you have stepped inside of Hayfields Market this month, you have likely encountered Jennie Carr. You would have at least encountered her art work, which is near enough to getting a peek into her heart and her mind. Carr is Hayfields’ featured artist for December. To speak to Carr for any length of time is to instantly understand that Jennie is her art, and her art is Jennie.

“Everything I see is framed as a photo or a scene from a film or a painting,” Carr shared one morning this month as she sat facing her wall of work at Hayfields. As she talked, her eyes lit up and a smile spread across her face. “I really am aware that I am happy to find, see and share. I’m just trying to capture something that I see and feel, and I just want to share it.”

Jennie Carr works out of her cottage in North Salem, creating photography, paintings, portraits and more. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo).

Carr’s Hayfields installation includes a curated selection of photographs that reflect the things that catch her eye. Mostly those things are nature, especially flowers, landscapes and clouds, which she finds herself particularly drawn to. For each image that she captures, Carr carefully matches the imagery to a set of words. “They could be words I come up with, a poem or song lyrics, or a line from a movie,” Carr explains. “Sometimes, if I overhear someone say something funny at a restaurant, I’ll think, “I’m going to use that.” 

Jennie Carr focuses much of her photography on capturing the beauty that occurs in nature. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

Carr is quick to say that she doesn’t have the ‘pedigree’ that other artists do, but it’s clear that she shares the same innate and relentless need to create. Taking and editing photos is a daily habit for her and inside her cozy North Salem cottage there is always a new photo to hang or a painting in progress. Recently Carr has been collecting grocery lists that she finds in shopping carts and discarded on the floor of stores or in parking lots, filing them away for a future project that is still percolating in her mind. “It’s the things that shape their day and their lives, and their family’s needs,” Carr explains. “It’s beautiful.”

Beauty and humor are the through-lines of Carr’s work. A scroll through Carr’s Instagram feed reveals sensual close-ups of flower petals, dramatic North Salem skylines and some unexpected images of everyday things. There’s a moment-in-time capture of a French bulldog waiting patiently at the Hayfields counter for their owner to complete a transaction. There are two people clad in ghost costumes, wearing sunglasses, standing in front of Carr’s vintage Chevy pickup truck. “A most awkward conjuring,” the photo’s caption reads. There on the Coney Island Boardwalk are a man and a boy, stoically facing each other. The boy is wearing a Santa Claus outfit. Caption: “the kris kringle is present.”

“I like things that are a little quirky and a little weird,” Carr says.

"I just want to share beauty and humor." (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

Whether she’s capturing flowers in bloom, a lone sheep staring at the camera from a deserted field or her 1964 Chevy under a snowy sky, Carr’s pictures have the effect of a friend firmly and lovingly grabbing you by the lapels, pulling you in close and saying, ‘here, look at this! You almost missed it.’

What Carr most wants is to help people see what she can see. “There’s a little bit of magic going on out there. I think people are really busy and distracted. I just want people to see what’s around us and take a minute.

Where to find Carr’s work:

Click below to view a gallery of Carr's work.

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