In a speech from the spring of 2016, I tried to sum up the essence of what I feel every artist tries to accomplish. I stated, “Only that which redefines the definition of the word has any chance to become that which it pretends to define.”
It is certainly no simple task to change the definition of a word. However, every great artist throughout history has done just that. Jackson Pollack, Camille Pissarro and Leonardo Da Vinci changed the definition of painting. Donatello (Donato di Nicocolò di Betto Bardi) and Donald Judd and Kara Walker changed the definition of sculpture. David Octavius Hill and Edward Stieglitz and Cindy Sherman changed photography.
As a student I was enthralled with two topics, art and psychology. At times I try to bring the two together in the same conversation. Though I taught Figure Drawing, Painting and Art History for decades, I am still enchanted with the idea of bringing psychology and painting together in a way that tries to define the moment when an individual makes a decision or comes to a realization about a dilemma or idea.
It is the search for that indefinable idea that intrigues me the most and of course, is the most elusive.
Jane Linders is an award winning photographer whose prints are in numerous national and international collections. Linders has exhibited her work everywhere from her home town in St. Louis to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. She is a tireless imagemaker who mines the oddities of roadside America.
After several years of traditional photography, I began to experiment with infrared photography because I enjoy the otherworldly quality of the image. My photos are not an in-your-face kind of intensity, but a gentle, matter of fact, I am here and I have always been here kind of statement, that builds the more your look at my image. Infrared photography broadened my photographic notions and expanded my creativity. I like how beautifully infrared light is reflected and absorbed by different surfaces. This non traditional photography allowed me to capture traditional subjects in a novel and interesting way. My major influence is the work of William Eggleston, who creates art from commonplace subjects and finds beauty in the banal and mundane.
Christine Ilewski lives in Alton, IL. She received her BFA from the Univ. of WI-Eau Claire, did masters work at Lindenwood Univ. and SIUE where she completed K-12 teaching certification. She taught in the U-City school district. She has been the Visting Artist for Liquitex for 20 years, bringing a materials and methods workshop to university campuses around the midwest.
Her studio work is primarily acrylic with multiple mixed media elements. She describes her current work: “My work has always been “personal.” My work has reflected my experience as a woman, a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter; a domestic, intimate life. Landscape has almost always been the background to my narratives, but in my most recent work it seems to have become my center…a place of reflection, a still point from which everything else revolves. These landscapes are bubbling up from a subconscious stream, a “river” of relationships. With a studio overlooking the Mississippi, the mighty river runs through all my work. “
She is also the founder/director of the nonprofit Faces Not Forgotten (www.facesnotforgotten.com) , a memorial project of portaits of young gun violence victims. Christine was awarded the 2013 Critical Mass Stimulus Grant for this project and has exhibited the project throughout St. Louis and the campuses of UMSL, Rutgers, Northeastern and Blackburn universities. BBC America did a piece on FNF in 2017.
Her studio work can be seen in the IL state Artisan shops, the Museum of Contemporary Art, New Harmony, Ariodante Gallery NOLA and many private collections. www.ilewski.com 618-806-6747
This group show will run from January 26 through March 9, with a reception on Sunday, January 26, 12:30 to 2:30.