JILL MCLENNAN: Migration Altered

May 6th, 2022– June 11th, 2022

Jill McLennan’s work moves from local to global focus as she documents the movement of humans and animals around the planet in Migration Altered. The series, comprised of watercolor paintings and prints, began when she heard the story of a man who had escaped from Yemen to Africa with a cow on a rowboat. Compelled by this story, she drew it, then created a linoleum print from the sketch. Inspired by her friend Collin Chace, a musician in London, and his song with Juha Music, Every Step you Take is a Migration, McLennan began to research other migration stories. She discovered that climate change plays a large part. Due to the destruction of their habitat, animal migrations have been altered or aided by humans, such as giraffes being transported by truck. Finally, she was confronted by people forcing other people out of their homelands to travel across borders seeking new homes.
McLennan’s paintings address the human impact on the earth through time, traveling back to a place inhabited by indigenous people and looking forward to damaged wetlands being reclaimed by birds. McLennan states, “I am processing the shadows we have cast on our beloved natural world and sharing the stories of those who wander searching for light.”
Jill McLennan is a painter and teaching artist, who has lived in Oakland for more than 20 years. She works for the deYoung Museum in San Francisco, and for a variety of non-profit arts organizations in the schools throughout the Bay Area. She is a member of the Jingletown Art Studios Collective, which sponsors open studios events every June. As both an artist and a teacher, she is deeply invested in protecting the environment, inspiring youth, and spreading hope and joy into the world. www.jillmclennan.me
Jill McLennan, Darien Gap (2022). Watercolor and pencil on paper. 28 x 36 inches, framed. Photo: Natalie Schrik.

Available Work


Jill McLennan

Jill McLennan is an artist and teacher who has lived in Oakland, CA for 20 years. She teaches at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, and for a variety of non-profit arts organizations in schools. During the pandemic, McLennan has been teaching online art classes to children and adults and making art instructional videos for the DeYoung Museum.  She recently joined the Jingletown Art Studios Collective with a new work space and a regular schedule of open studios events.