Jane Chu is well known in Kansas City, though she now calls New York home. Chu was founding President and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown, KC and went on to become the 11th Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Today Jane Chu describes herself first as an artist. She is devoted to creating delicate and detailed pen and ink works on paper. Her drawings build layer upon layer of intricate hatching and crosshatching to create depth and a wide range of light, shadow, and texture. During Chu’s four-year tenure at the NEA, she made more than 400 site visits to meet with artists, arts and civic leaders, philanthropists and the general public, and was influenced by places, signage and closeup aspects of public buildings. In Chu’s exhibition, 50 States and Beyond, she has created a drawing of every US state (and the District of Columbia) with information gathered during her travels as Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Jane Chu straddles multiple cultures, having been born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She received bachelor’s degrees in piano performance and music education from Ouachita Baptist University, as well as a master’s degree in piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University. Additionally, Chu holds an associate degree in visual arts from Nebraska Wesleyan University, an MBA from Rockhurst University, a Ph.D. in philanthropic studies from Indiana University, and five honorary doctorate degrees.