“Light, when it occurs in painting, reveals a great deal about what is valued and why,” artist Jil Evans said when describing her exhibit, entitled “The Heart’s Bright and Dark Light.”
Evans continued, “The paintings in this series were made following a year-long study of light in five paintings whose light moved me.”
The Minnesota-based artist brings her work to the Cummings Art Gallery on her winter tour of the east coast/midwest region.
The Cummings Art Gallery hosts this installation from Jan. 13 to Feb. 13, giving Mercyhurst students and community members ample time to see the exhibit.
On Jan. 23, the Cummings Art Gallery hosted a public reception and discussion with the artist where art lovers from the Mercyhurst and Erie communities could admire the artwork and meet the woman behind it.
When observing Evans’ work, I found myself drawn to the contrast of the darker colors enhanced by the hues of navy blues, rosy pinks and light strokes of crimson.
In each canvas, I found something different.
The theme of light was captured in a few through color collage while others captured my eye because of their “Monet-esque” illusions in floral arrangements.
Contrasting her abstract pieces, Evans also presented a series of still life pieces.
A handful of these are scenes from a time long ago, possibly set in faraway places like Italy.
One piece entitled “De Hooch 1” depicts a man and woman.
The painting is set in a small home, the man, dressed in an orange frock, coming down a staircase, the woman kneeling and looking at him with a smile.
The home is simple, a shelf acting as a focal point behind the woman and a door to her left cracked open slightly.
The painting itself mainly consists of browns, black lines and light strokes of yellow.
This piece was heavily inspired by “The Asparagus Vendor” by artist Pieter De Hooch.
With “The Heart’s Bright and Dark Light” being Evans’ 15th collection, her years of creation have shown audiences many themes, like her fascination with European art, specifically the Italian region, and her fascination with symbolism.
Besides her installation at the Cummings Art Gallery, Evans has exhibited her work both on a national and international scale.
Following the stay in Erie, Evans and her work will travel to St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where her work will be featured for the majority of the spring.
The Cummings Art Gallery is open Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
You will not want to miss this exhibit.