What brought you to Evanston?
Growing up on the North Shore, (Northbrook), I was acquainted with Evanston. I moved to Chicago after college, where I met my husband. When my husband and I decided to move- for a quieter existence- I suggested Evanston. I am in a mixed race marriage, and I have learned over time, that we are not welcome everywhere. I knew Evanston was a diverse town, with an open heart. I liked that it just was steps to Lake Michigan and a train ride back into Chicago. I was aware that it had a burgeoning art scene and that it was home to the esteemed, Evanston Art Center. I have been happily living in Evanston, since 1997.
How does your environment inform your art?
Evanston has afforded me the freedom and flow to sustain my artmaking habit. It has a caring arts community, which provides opportunities to network and connect with other local creatives. For example, one of the venues I network through, is Space 900 Gallery at 816 Dempster Street. I am currently a Core Member of this cooperative gallery, which offers me and other artists in the community, exhibition and performance space. In addition, I have been able to find jobs in the arts, right here in Evanston. I have blossomed as an arts educator through teaching adult arts enrichment classes at the Evanston Arts Center- since 2008. I have also had the good fortune, to work with the local organization, Art Encounter- which is housed in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center. Art Encounter, gave me space to teach my own classes, and has taught me how to facilitate interactive talks in Chicago galleries. I have also lead arts programs in local schools and recently, I have joined Joanna Pinsky- The Artistic Director of Art Encounter- in leading Travel Tours through Detroit, New Orleans, Toronto and Montreal. I have been working with this non-profit, since 1997.
What is your medium?
I typically work with welded or soldered thin steel, sewn-coated fabrics and powdered pigments mixed with acrylic gels. I also create suspended sculptures for public spaces, where I use durable materials such as; Epoxy Resin over fiber-glass cloth, LED lights, parachute fabric and welded steel.
Describe your art, in a hundred words or less.
I question, “what is ethereal?” and “what is tangible?” Formed by stretching an opaque fabric over a linear steel construction, My airy sculptures look like floating, celestial cloud formations that have come to life in three dimensions. I am a child of the cosmos who often sails into the starry vastness pulling out forms and colors that embody the shapes and patterns of the galactic universe. My organic artworks highlight the glory and intricacy of the natural world and represents my spiritual growth and transformation.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on a 6’ suspended, sculpture called “Nebula” which was commissioned through the Illinois Art-in-Architecture program. At the end of February, 2019, I plan on renting a trailer and driving it to Richland College in Decatur IL. I am looking forward to seeing it hang from the rafters of their Student Success Center.
Name one piece of art, by any artist, that blew your mind or otherwise inspired you.
Lee Bontecou’s- “All Freedom in Every Sense”. This complex, industrial looking, wire and canvas sculpture, looks like it came from and alternate universe and time. I loved Bontecou’s use of unconventional materials and it was such an inspiration, to witness an artwork that took me into foreign realms.
Why art? Art is all I have ever known. Since childhood, I have enjoyed putting a variety materials in my hands and forming/manipulating them into something different then they started out. My art follows me as I grow, and it is through the act of artmaking, that I have come to understand- we are all co-creators in this crazy universe.
Jill’s website: www.jillkingstudio.com
Listen to the Lisa D Show podcast with Jill: http://thelisadshow.blogspot.com/search?q=Jill+King
Jill King - Sculptor. (Video)