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Jill Poyourow

My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally beginning in 1982 when color photographs from the Florida series were included in Tacoma Art Museum's Photography Biennial. Paintings, embroideries, and works on paper have been shown at museums and galleries across the United States including Thomas Solomon’s Garage, Los Angeles; POST, Los Angeles; the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California; Annika Sundvik Gallery, New York; OTIS Gallery, Los Angeles; the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California; and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport, Maine. A group of embroideries toured libraries of Italy as part of the First International Fiber Art Biennale. I participated in two artist residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. In addition to earning a BS from Western Washington University, I hold a BFA and MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Designing & teaching my own courses and serving as adjunct faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, beginning in 1995, instilled in me a deep passion for teaching college art.

Longer BIO:

My sensibiliites are informed by childhood trips into the attic and into my mother’s old wooden trunk full of fabrics. In the 1950s, before my older brother was born, my mother did an internship at the Costume Institute at the Met while attending FIT. By the 1960s, and before they became a ubiquitous symbol of the era, she was sewing dashikis for the ethnically diverse musicians and equal rights activists who would come and stay with us (some sleeping on our living room floor to and fro Woodstock). Trips up into the attic were akin to museum visits for me….these lush paisley velvets, crisp floral chintzes, psychedelic polyesters and brash & brazenly colorful denims provided me with some of my first exposure to large expanses of pattern and design, all of which seemed overwhelmingly beautiful to me. Also, I began drawing from life as far back as I can remember. Then my Aunt Esther gave me a gift set of pastels for my sixth birthday, and then I was learning how to paint, mostly by experimenting, when I got my first oils at age 9. Simultaneously, being a descendent of the immigrant Jews who came to America in the great waves of the 1880s-1900s, storytelling and myths of relatives I had never met (but who were still very present to my living relatives) created a curiosity about different or seemingly quirky people as well as a passion for family history. This eventually led to my incorporating cultural history in a broader sense into my work. Being in love with the outdoors and fascinated with the natural world, I was a biology & environmental science major when I started college, but then I switched to graphics technology and then to fine art.

I served as a faculty member at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California from 1995-2001, as well as other colleges and universities in southern California until the end of 2003, when I briefly moved to London. At the end of 2004 I relocated to Cape Neddick, Maine and am presently on the faculty at York County Community College, where I teach courses in painting, drawing and design. In 2014 I designed and began teaching the first fully online version of Foundations of Design for YCCC. Before living in California, I spent many years living and working on an oyster farm in the state of Washington, as well as living and working in Alaska. I was born in Yonkers, New York and grew up in the Hudson River Valley, moving to the suburbs of Philadelphia as I entered 9th grade. Boarded a plane for the first time right before my 18th birthday for my move out west (to attend Huxley College of Environmental Studies in Washington state) I remained on the west coast until my move to southern Maine.

pdf of resume HERE

artist statement HERE