Sally Crain-Jager is a native of Oklahoma, where she received an undergraduate degree in painting. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Texas Christian University. Her experiences include educational television teaching, private classes in painting and a career spent teaching art at Tennessee Tech University, where she was instrumental in developing the art education and painting programs. Throughout these years as a teacher, she maintained a studio and was active in exhibits and competitions. After her retirement from Tennessee Tech, she lived in Santa Fe, N.M., where she had a studio and was represented by a gallery on Canyon Road. Returning to Cookeville, Crain-Jager remained an active teacher of the arts and founded the Art for Healing program at Cookeville Regional Medical Center.
About her work, Crain-Jager says: “The process of layering materials, especially in 'Jimez Springs,' provides meaning in my paintings: While the rough rocks and boulders seem totally stationary, geology tells us that they move and change. Texture is an important part of any of my paintings and is used to add surface interest and to reflect the actual subject matter, as seen in 'Plowed Field' and 'Turbulence.' The three-dimensional box-sculpture 'Velveteen Rabbit' is based upon the story but is interpreted as a memorial piece to my friend Alice Derryberry. The writing on the box isn’t intended to be read, but rather adds the more personal indication of marks made by my hand.”