Chapter 5 – Art Show Northwestern

Artist Jackie Jacobson
 
 

One Woman Art Show

 

Art Show – Northwestern University Library

 

Would I be interested in having a one woman art show?

On one of my days at the Evanston Art Center I was again approached by a board member, who asked if I would be interested in having a one woman art show at Northwestern University library. I actually had an art show a few months before at a small gallery in Chicago. 
 
But Northwestern was a much more prestigious idea. Pretty exciting for me in a relatively short time after leaving school. I visited the library and saw that it was a very large space. Perfect because I actually had a large body of work on canvas, mostly nudes. In fact 90% nudes, and mostly females. I also felt that it would be comprehensive with just one theme. 
 
The date for the art show was 4 months away. I was beyond excited. Approximately 6 weeks before the show I received a phone call advising me that the press releases have all been released to the major newspapers. That meant the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times and several regional papers. And a photographer was coming to do a photo shoot for a magazine article. Now I was really excited. Not bad for someone whose art career started with paint by number paintings. I think my largest paint by number canvas size was 18”x24”. And this art show would be with canvases most 48”x60” 
Then the last minute statement in that phone call. The speaker, “Oh Jackie, were you told that there is one stipulation? Because it’s a public library, you can’t show nudes.” My answer, “You’ve got to be kidding? Nudes is what I have been showing everywhere.” Nudes were my specialty. And that was my body of work. I swallowed hard and said, “then please cancel the show.
 
She said Jackie, “this isn’t some small town, IT’S CHICAGO. It’s 6 weeks away and if you ever want to show in Chicago again, you can’t cancel.”  Now I had a giant dilemma. 
 
I needed to have at least 10 new paintings 48”x60”, my medium was oil paints and they took weeks to dry even if I could paint them. What could I possibly do? 
 
My solution was my small at home art studio. I announced that for 6 weeks I would eat and sleep in our finished basement, and paint in the little 12’x15’ studio. Al stretched 10 canvases for me. And I went to Al’s greenhouse where I selected 10 of his interesting small bromeliad plants. They all were in flower, and the flower shapes were very erotic.
 
I needed to have at least 10 new paintings 48”x60”, my medium was oil paints and they took weeks to dry even if I could paint them. What could I possibly do? 
 
My solution was my small at home studio. I announced that for 6 weeks I would eat and sleep in our finished basement, and paint in the little 12’x15’ studio. Al stretched 10 canvases for me. And I went to Al’s greenhouse where I selected 10 of his interesting small bromeliad plants. They all were in flower, and the flower shapes were very erotic.
 
 
art show
art show
 
But they weren’t nudes. The plants were in 4” pots and were about 6” tall. I blew them way up in scale, drew them on white backgrounds, and they became erotic shapes of intense color. My solution was to use thin layers of oil washes, layer after layer until they became extraordinary. I slept little and painted joyfully. The family was so supportive, and brought down all my meals.
 
The completed body of work was seven- 48×60” pieces and one triptych of 30×40”each. I also showed six 18”x24” framed and matted charcoal drawings of these bromeliads.
I called the series “Erotica”. Of course there was no way to keep the background of the canvas white without color splatter. So my final week was to paint a new layer of white paint and I carried the paintings into the art show…WET. Yes wet paint! I had small signs hung that said… WET PAINT. The show was hung the day before opening night. All I wanted to do was sleep.
 
I arrived on opening night and found a totally crowded show. I mean crowded. At least 100 people. Wine and snacks, happy talk and music. I was overwhelmed. And how was the show received? It Sold Out the first night with an additional 3 custom commissions.
art show
Erotica – Just a Little Pink
 
One commission was memorable. They wanted the most erotic drawing blown way up but painted in sepia and white with just a little pink. Title of course Erotica – Just a Little Pink. It hung in the window of a Michigan Avenue Hair Salon for years. Then it ended up in a divorce custody battle.
 
It wound up being moved to Palm Springs California. And.some 30 years after that art show, I too moved to Palm Springs. I actually got to visit that piece …Just a Little Pink. It hangs in a restored mid-century home with the traditional colors of the1950’s… pink and turquoise. How perfect. 

And what did this show really do for me. It gave me the courage to leave the familiar and to explore new ideas. And to this day I do that very think.

Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you. https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-series
 
INTERESTING ARTICLES ABOUT TALENT
https://www.thoughtco.com/van-gogh-sold-only-one-painting-4050008

10 Master Drawers (and What They Teach Us)

 
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.