Hanging It Up Steven Jones and Jane Ellefson June 27 to July 25, 2014 Robert T. Wright Gallery, College of Lake County
Last Word… The exhibition title, “Hanging It Up” is indeed a bitter-sweet double entendre. For 30 years I have been hanging up artworks in the Robert T. Wright Gallery as its curator. Jane Ellefson has been working alongside me for the past 14 years as the gallery’s preparator. We have both arrived at the point where we feel it is time for “hanging it up” and moving on with the rest of our lives. For all our years in the gallery we have been vigorously “building it up.” The gallery has grown exponentially in its scope of exhibitions, presentation, publications and the gallery’s website. Thus, the gallery has become a sought-after venue for artists both regionally and nationally. The college’s permanent art collection has gone from a handful of artworks to over 600. Many works were either purchased with CLC Foundation funds or were part of many significant donations from private collectors. The collection is displayed throughout CLC’s three campuses. It has been our good fortune to work with some truly great artists over the years and to share their remarkable artworks with the college community. The annual Recent Works Competition and the Members Exhibition have focused on Lake County artists. It has been a pleasure to get to know so many local artists and to see their artwork mature over the years. Lastly, it is about the students. It has been gratifying to see them go from creating in the classroom to professionally exhibiting their art in our annual CLC Student Art Competition. We have built a lot of relationships with both our artistic community and among CLC faculty and staff. It is indeed difficult to leave CLC knowing these associations will change. However, the time has come for “Hanging It Up!” For our swan song we are hanging up our own paintings as a gesture of saying farewell to the community we have loved to serve. Steven Jones Jane Ellefson
Front Cover: Steven Jones, Peony, 2014, Technique Mixte Jane Ellefson, Pewter Pitcher with Oranges, 2008, Oil on linen 1
Steven Jones Tower II: Unity, 2009 Technique Mixte, 36" x 24"
Steven Jones Veiled References III, 2014 Technique Mixte, 36" x 24"
Jane Ellefson Hanging It Up, 2014 Oil on panel, 10" x 10"
Jane Ellefson Reflection, 2012 Oil on panel, 24" x 30" Collection: Michael and Gwen Schroder, Heath, Ohio
Steven Jones Books & Strings I, 2006-2008 Technique Mixte, 36" x 48"
Jane Ellefson Portrait of Tom Rowe, 2013 Oil on linen panel, 27” x 23” Collection: Tom and Jan Rowe, Deerfield, Ill. 5
Steven Jones Arabesque I, 2007 Technique Mixte, 36" x 48"
Jane Ellefson Blue Bag with Oranges, 2014 Oil on panel, 10" x 10"
Jane Ellefson Two Pomegranates in a Shadow, 2014 Oil on panel 8" x 14"
Steven Jones has been painting still lifes for over two decades. During the past ten years he has focused on books as his subject. The English author, John Milton said, “Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life…” Doubtless Milton was referring to the printed content of the books, but Jones noticed it applies to the exterior of books as well. Jones selects old, well-worn books that trace the many hands that have leafed through them and have shaped their outward character. The books’ spines may be bent or frayed and the typography may be faded, however, they do retain their inner “potency of life.” The book as a visual object has its own aesthetic. This subject has had a lengthy gestation process with the artist. For 30 years Jones has been the curator of the College of Lake County’s Wright Gallery, housed within the college’s library. He has long been fascinated by the aesthetics of books randomly piled in stacks.
“A small work of art invites the viewer to come close and participate in careful observation. It creates a kind of intimacy between the viewer and the work, which is part of the appeal for me to work small. I have always had a curiosity for small objects and many that I have collected through the years find their way into my still lifes. They reference my heritage and reflect my love for Juan Sanchez Cotán and Luis Meléndez, masters of Spanish still life.”
Jones earned his M.F.A. degree at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He continued studying painting in Paris for many years at the atelier of Patrick Betaudier, where he learned the Technique Mixte. This method of painting uses a solid tempera underpainting with subsequent oil glazes, similar to the 15th Century Flemish approach. Like the Flemish and Dutch masters, Jones’ book still lifes are painted in a highly realistic manner by precisely representing physical appearances. This approach to painting still lifes of books attempts to reveal the subject’s “potency of life.” Jones’ works are represented in many private and public collections in the U.S. and France. 8
Jane Ellefson grew up on a farm in Indiana. She earned her B.A. (Art/Spanish) at Ball State University and her M.A. (Spanish) at University of Illinois. After living abroad (Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona) she taught Spanish for many years, and in 2000 followed a desire to return to art. She took a position with the Gallery at College of Lake County and renewed her study of painting, learning the Technique Mixte methods from Steven Jones. She has exhibited her work locally and throughout the Midwest and has been selected to show nationally in the Contemporary Realism Biennial (Fort Wayne, Ind.), National Small Oil Painting (Wichita, Kan.), Collective Singular (Denver, Colo.) and Still Life Now: Nine Contemporary Artists (Lima, Ohio).
Hanging It Up Steven Jones and Jane Ellefson June 27 to July 25, 2014 Robert T. Wright Gallery, College of Lake County.
Steven Jones The Chinese Vase, 2013 Technique Mixte, 36" x 18"
Jane Ellefson Grape Hyacinths with White Tea Jar, 2014 Oil on panel, 10" x 10"
Gallery Summer Hours June 27 to July 25, 2014 Mondayâ€“Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Closed July 4 Gallery Information Voice: (847) 543-2240 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web page: http://gallery.clcillinois.edu College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington Street, Grayslake, IL 60030 The Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art is a project of the College of Lake County Foundation.