MAIN GALLERY | POINTS OF VIEW
A Group Exhibit by:
JILL RAE MARTIN-GOLDEN
Why do I make art? Especially now, in this era of uncertainty and mayhem, I value the opportunity to slow down and pay closer attention. It’s important to remember, to preserve, to appreciate and celebrate the everyday. The “everyday” is not so ordinary! The things we make with our hands are precious. The scale is human, in a world where more and more we are overcome with brutality and mayhem.
I paint to say, “Look. I love color, shape, light. I love stories and dreams. I’m trying to make it visible, to share it with you.” I want you too to say, “I see!”, even if at first you didn’t.
Pigment, paper, fabric, glass - born of earth and crafted by hand and heart into images and objects that share a vision or evoke an emotion or response. The sharing is the essence of the image or object. Communication. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Creating my art in the various media I use is as much a part of me as breathing. My inspiration comes from the small, even insignificant, things that surround us in everyday life. I earned my B.F.A. and M.A. degrees in painting from Northern Illinois University. My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in private and corporate collections in the United States, Sweden, France, Luxembourg, Germany and Great Britain. My paintings were selected for the American Embassy Residences in Rangoon, Burma and Niger, Africa, under the Art in Embassies program initiated by President John F. Kennedy. I am listed in Who's Who in American Art, Who’s Who in America and co-authored the book, "Now What? This Art Business.” My work is included in the books, “The Best of Silk Painting,” and “The Fine Art of Painting on Silk” and was published in Artists Magazine and Beadwork magazine. I am represented by Abel Contemporary Gallery, Stoughton, WI, Jill Rae Finally Art, Rockton, IL and 317 Art Collective, Rockford, IL, and am a member of several artists' organizations including Rockford Art Guild. Beloit Art Center, TNPS, WAOW, TWSA, NWS and SPIN.
JILL RAE MARTIN-GOLDEN
Jill Rae Martin-Golden is the owner of JR Finally Art Studio & Gallery which is located in a historic building in downtown Rockton. It is the accumulation of many years of studying art and wishing to devote more time to the work that she loves. It is there you’ll find her working alcohol inks, watercolors, oils and pastels along with the works of other local artists. Jill sees beauty in the ordinary and revels in sharing that vision with others.
Color – bright and bold; subtle and quiet. Line – connecting and moving. Together creating images to share my vision, my world where gardening is a form of painting and traveling is a scenic view of oneself.
For several years I have done nostalgic realism. I love old toys and old photographs and usually use one or the other in my work.
Toys are a fabulous challenge for me, they need to be rendered correctly to convey the thoughtfulness the toymaker showed in developing them. It is a time for me to go back and revisit old friends, to see their scuff marks, their missing pieces, the grime from play of small hands. They are rendered with minimal backgrounds because the negative space serves as the quiet area. Without a traditional backdrop, the viewer can focus on the image itself and can transport himself or herself into that imaginative childhood space where toys can talk and walk and have adventures.
I also like to change the sizes of toys. Tiny becomes big and regular becomes small or supersized. It could be said that that isn’t realistic. But it is fun to do. Who can tell the child in me that a toy in a different size wouldn’t still satisfy the urge for play?
I work with bright colors to not only move the viewer's eye around the piece but also to let my artwork command the attention of the room it is in. I use optical interference for backgrounds or clouds of an unusual nature. I love using complementary colors next to each other to provide a high contrast and make those colors appear more vivid. My ideal painting is one that is colorful, frenetic and offbeat.
BELL GALLERY | WOODY OLSEN
Woody Olsen Artist
Merwood “Woody” Olsen was born in Beloit, raised in Sharon and graduated from Big Foot High School, Walworth, Wisconsin.
Currently residing in Madison, Wisconsin, he is a member of Association of Wisconsin Artists. He finds inspiration close to home in the natural beauty of Wisconsin.
His grandmother was a talented artist who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago around the turn of the last century. She left a legacy of numerous prized oil paintings of tranquil scenes of life at Wisconsin lakes and streams from a bygone era. She was also a sought after speaker on art history.
He lived in Chicago for over 40 years and was a member of the prestigious Arts Club of Chicago. He curated shows for a Pop/Outsider art gallery. In Chicago, he resided in Mies van der Rohe’s famous modernist Esplanade apartments on Lake Shore Drive. He recently retired from Northwestern Medicine Health Information, Chicago.
He’s had the opportunity to meet many of the most eminent artists of the 20th and 21th century. Discussing art with some of the world’s greatest artists is a special honor and privilege. He’s learned so much discussing art with the likes of Claes Oldenburg, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Paloma Picasso, George Segal, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mya Lin, to name just a few.
Another major influence is travel focused on art. In Europe, he had the opportunity to visit London’s Tate Modern, the Vatican Museum, the Louvre and Picasso Museum in Paris. In the States, he credits visits to the many art museums of New York City, along with The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Houston’s Rothko Chapel and the Art Institute of Chicago, among many major museums visited.
In the 70s, when New York was the center of the art world and every artist had to be in New York, he spent many nights at the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan. For years, many well-known artists stayed at the Chelsea and paid with art when they didn’t have cash to pay the bill. Famously, Larry Rivers left behind A Dutch Master that graced the lobby, along with many other pieces by other artists.
He studied at two top professional art schools, the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). At the time, Layton was ranked among the top five art schools in the country. He studied with Wisconsin watercolorist, the late Anne Miotke of Whitefish Bay at Layton. Unfortunately, the school closed. With the closing of Layton, he transferred to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and graduated from MCAD with a BFA.
Prior to Layton and MCAD, he attended UW-Whitewater studying art history, studio arts, etching and printmaking. He studied with talented professor, artist Leanne Stevenson, a School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) graduate. She was very influential training him in art presentation and exposing him to Chicago’s Hairy Who artists.
Woody works primarily in watercolor incorporating acrylic washes. He’s a colorist using splashes of overlapping, floating colors of different shapes and sizes in an informal balance on a polymer-based paper. The work is minimalist, usually not overworked. A focal point draws the eye to the center of interest.
As an art collector himself, he finds inspiration in the work of other artists. From his personal collection, he has a promised estate gift of several pieces of art to the University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum including two self-portraits from his Layton years.