Jill McLennan: RISING OUT OF RUINS
July 30th, 2021 – September 4th, 2021
Jill McLennan presents new paintings and drawings in a show titled Rising Out of Ruins. McLennan’s interest in ruins originates with her teaching job at a local museum, her love of traveling and her observations of Oakland, the city where she lives, with its constant flux of construction and destruction. For many years her practice has emphasized documenting the abandoned or forgotten: vacant lots, train tracks, empty buildings and construction sites.
In Rising Out of Ruins, McLennan connects ideas about lost cultures with current conditions of development and displacement in American cities, especially Oakland. Ruins hold information about the scope of history and communicate knowledge left behind for us to encounter. Is it our obligation to leave ruins undisturbed, as the offerings for ancestors or gods that they were intended to be? Or Is it our responsibility to unearth these treasures, document and preserve them in museums for all to see and learn about? This new body of work explores how the past lives in the present and looks towards a future where human cultures connect and celebrate differences and creativity.
Jill McLennan is a professional painter and teaching artist who has been living in Oakland for 22 years. She works for the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland and the de Young Museum in San Francisco. She is an active member in her neighborhood, Jingletown, creating and organizing public art and beautification projects; and has her studio at Jingletown Art Studios. She is currently working on a large-scale public art project with the city of Emeryville. As an artist and teacher, she is deeply invested in protecting her environment, inspiring youth, and spreading hope and joy into the world.