WMU News

Chicago art exhibit includes two WMU students

Feb. 19, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Two WMU graduate art students have been invited to show at the 2001 College Art Association's Regional M.F.A. Exhibition beginning Feb. 28 in Chicago and in Urbana-Champaign, Ill.

WMU students Jill Jepsen from Grand Haven, Mich., and Tylla Carlisle of Kalamazoo are included in the exhibits at the I-Space Chicago Gallery of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Feb. 28 to March 10, and at The Great Space Gallery, University of Illinois at Chicago, Feb. 28 to March 3. There are receptions at both locations on Saturday, March 3, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

There are 16 colleges and universities within a 150-mile radius of Chicago that are represented in the shows. The exhibitions are scheduled to coincide with the College Art Association's 89th Annual Conference, which will be in Chicago from Feb. 28 through March 3.

Jill Jepsen graduated Cum Laude from Hope College, where she had a double major in art and psychology. While at WMU, her area of concentration has been in painting. However, she's had teaching assistantships in lithography and 2D design as well. Regarding the pieces she's exhibiting she says, "Through collage, I want to manifest the impact illness plays on the human body. Minor Mobility I and the figurative paper collages reference the human figure, but become further distorted through layering stained fabric, stitching, paper and paint on the object. When I manipulate these materials, I transform their histories into chronicles."

Says Jepsen, "My childhood was dominated by an ill family member. The continuous cycle of hospital beds, needles and staples aligned against the comforts of the home environment overwhelms the memories of my youth. Besides objects and illness, there was the interplay of emotions between family members. Stitching and arranging fabric in an organized, yet disordered manner relieves the tension of those memories. This work on canvas or paper references my role and physical limitations as a woman in a family with an ill mother as its metaphor."

Tylla Carlisle has studied at the University of Tennessee and at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Her bachelor's degree in art is from Indiana University in Bloomington. She taught photography and painting at Harmony School in Bloomington and has a teaching assistantship in drawing and painting at WMU.

Of her work Carlisle says, "Initially I work abstractly, laying down opaque layers of oil paint on the canvas. Then I push the composition into a more atmospheric projection of mood or psychological tone. I want to determine an abstract space in which the figure or landscape can rest. By abstracting the space, I attempt to communicate the flux between the body's truth and the soul's shadow. Usually, I finish the painting with translucent glazes, giving the surface a luminous quality and unifying the opaque shape depicting the figure/landscape."

Says Carlisle, "I'm more of a traditionalist rather than a modern or post-modern painter because I'm predominately concerned with beauty and truth. The questions that continually inspire my quest for meaning are . . . are beauty and truth symbiotic or is one subordinate to the other? If so, which one will prevail . . . truth or beauty?"

For more information, contact the Department of Art Exhibitions Office at 616-387-2455.

Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, 616 387-4678, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

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