Arts & Culture

Kitchen Icons Take Over the Runway at Hat City Kitchen


From a press release:


Artist, Jennie Traill Schaeffer, owner of TraillWorks: Studio on the 3rd Floor, is currently exhibiting her work “Red Carpet Icons” at Hat City Kitchen’s Valley Arts Orbital Gallery through March 9. The exhibit marks her first solo show since closing her brick and mortar Sussex County gallery in 2013 and relocating to West Orange.

Although the show runs through March 9, Jennie will be present on Monday, February 8, from 6 – 8 p.m. for a closing reception during the monthly Valley Arts Artist Salon to talk about her work.

Many of the works feature kitchen appliances, including several Crock Pots, a toaster, and espresso machine, along with a few baked goods and “thrones” of the home. The Crock Pot, in particular, was a pivotally important cook’s tool and the vogue appliance of the 1970s, which many sociologists attribute with helping women to work outside the home. This led the artist to make the connection to the fashion world and situate many of the appliances in the paintings on red carpets.

Jennie has been incorporating kitchen appliances in many of her works since her engagement to her husband in 2003. She started painting them as an outlet to express frustration over a difference in opinion with her husband on how each one carried out chores, and then gradually the appliances took on a metaphorical meaning, exploring the role that they play in young couples’ lives at the time of marriage. The appliances in all of her works sit prominently as the center of focus, with an attitude, as though they are posing for the camera.

All of the works in the exhibit — which range in size from 5” x 7” to 48” x 24” — are painted in oil (with the exception of one relief print), employing vivid colors and thick textural paint that exude energy and life. While you may want to touch them, she encourages you to withhold the urge and contact her for a personal tour in which she may permit you to experience the work more closely.

Jennie has been a working artist and art educator for over a decade, holding a BFA in painting / art education from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The artist relocated to West Orange after operating TraillWorks, her brand, as a gallery / studio in Newton, NJ. When she is not painting, she teaches private and small group art lessons from TraillWorks: Studio on the 3rd Floor, in her West Orange home, and adult classes at locations including Work and Play in South Orange and summer workshops at Peters Valley Craft Center. For more information on her work, commissions, or art lessons visit

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