JILL MCLENNAN is a professional oil painter and teaching artist living in the San Francisco Bay area for over 18 year. She works for the DeYoung Museum, the Museum of Children’s Art, and various schools in Oakland. She founded her own organization, JMAC: Jill McLennan Arts and Community, as a platform for teaching classes and workshops and creating murals and community projects. She organizes community projects with her neighborhood, JABC: Jingletown Arts, Businesses, and Community. She also designs and creates public art that reflects the local history of a place. McLennan draws, paints, makes mixed media built pieces, wax encaustics and oil paintings that explore industry, history, urban nature and our outlook towards a future of human and natural cooperation.
Jill McLennan explores and observes the city of Oakland, a city she has chosen to call home for 18 years. She delves into the industrial history, researching historical photographs and learning the stories of this vibrant city, built on wetlands of the Bay. She documents the rapidly changing present while assessing her own place in this chaos. Where do artists fit into this bustling influx of wealth and development? How do we as educators explain why so many people can’t find places to live in this economic boom? What is our current reality as a city? What will happen to the people who have lived here all along? Will all of these newcomers contribute to the cultural fabric of Oakland? How will this new skyline change our outlook? How many more people will move here to pay the high rents? What about the people who can not pay their rent? What about the people who work low paying jobs, who we depend on to keep the city flowing? When will the rivers overflow? When will the salmon stop being able to swim upstream? When is enough, enough?