Jackie Granger

Jackie Granger

Artist Statement

NEVER KISSED A BILLIONAIRE BY JACKIE GRANGER Someone once told me that to make good art you have to make work about what you know. This is what I know. I am twenty-nine years old. I have never really kissed a billionaire. A geek to the core, most of my childhood years were spent doing extra art projects I requested from the teacher. Art school was more of the same. Then, at eighteen, it seemed as if my luck was about to change. The cutest millionaire in school asked me to an art gallery but it turned out he invited me as a cruel joke. I have never fully recovered. Yes, it is embarrassing to share this with the world. But it would be hard to explain what I learned, and how I learned it, without sharing this humiliating history. I received an assignment, my first as an artist to enroll in a graduate school again to gain some insight into humans today. Understandably, returning to art school was my worse nightmare.  What I found? There's still that one teacher, who marches to their own drummer. Those people are still there. The ones that, even as you grow up, will still be the most beautiful people that you've ever seen close up. The athletes — and the immense sense of fraternity and loyalty that they share. The smart people. Who everyone else always knew as the brains. But who I just knew as my soulmates, my teachers, my friends. And there's still that one fat cat, the one who is so perfect in every way, from the shiny head to his shoulders-to the way he, in his own way, struggles to uphold tradition. The fat cat you get up and go to school for in the morning. University of Washington would not have been the same without him. Seattle would not be the same without him. I would not have been the same without him. All of these things made me miserable at eighteen. But at twenty-nine I finally see that this — all of this-is just the way it should be. It is all part of this thing-school. A time in our lives that we can never truly repeat. A time that shapes us. A time that makes us who we are, for years to come. Art school-going through it the first time-helped make me who I am. But going there a second time made me see that who I am is O.K. I always wanted to be "in," but years later, when they finally opened the door, I somehow gained the confidence to stay outside, firmly, happily. This is not the art I was sent to make. This is the art I needed to make. I lived a lifetime of regret after my first high school experience, and now, after my second, my regrets are down to one. A certain billionaire was trampled in my path to self-discovery, and though this art piece may serve as a step, it in no way makes up for what I did to him. To this billionaire, you know who you are, I am so sorry. And, I would like to add one more thing - I think I am in love with you. And so I propose this — as an ending to this art piece, and, perhaps, as an ending to this portion of my life. I, Jackie Granger, will be at the baseball game — where my friends the University of Washington Huskies are playing. I will stand on the pitcher's mound for the five minutes prior to the first pitch. If this billionaire man accepts my apology, I ask him to come to kiss me, in front of everyone, for my first real kiss from a billionaire. Five minutes may seem like a short time, but trust me, when you've been waiting twenty-nine years, it's usually the last five minutes that kill you. I went back to art school and discovered I was a loser, again. And then I discovered it wasn't so bad. I wasn't so bad. So, now that I'm ready to start living the rest of my life, it would be magical if I could live the rest of it with him. Because inside everyone is a loser afraid to be loved and to carry endless student loan debt, and out there is the one billionaire who can kiss us and make it all better.



  • Master of Fine Arts, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University


Committee Members

  • Aaron Flint Jamison (Photo/Media)
  • Rebecca Cummins (Photo/Media)
  • Ellen Garvens (Photo/Media)