Since the mid-1990s, Northfield, Minnesota artist Jill Ewald has explored how to visualize interior and exterior human connections though painting and drawing.
Stylistically, Ewald’s work is as abstract as the concepts addressed by her work. Often using a square format support, whether it is paper, canvas or board, Ewald works with a variety of mediums, including oil paint, graphite, conte crayon, encaustic, charcoal, inks and/or thread.
Ewald cites as art historical influence the still life genre as practiced by Cezanne and Morandi, who investigated the essence of objects through spatial constructs and shifting perspective; the landscape genre as painted by Turner, who painted the light and atmosphere from personal experience; and artists such as Julia Mehretu, Landon Mackenzie, and Richard Long, who probe human movements through mapping. She notes the influence of artists whose works delve into nature and walking through it, and writers who do the same: notably Robert McFarlane, Robert Moor, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The use of space and line by contemporary artists, whose work she encounters during travels, further informs her art.
Ewald received an M.F.A. in visual arts from The Vermont College, Montpelier, Vermont, and a B.A. from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. She was an art apprentice at St. Olaf for the year following graduation. From 1998 through 2013, she served as director of the Flaten Art Museum at St. Olaf College, where she also taught visual art classes. She served on the artist panel of the Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. She has received awards from shows and grants from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council and the State Arts Board. Her work is exhibited frequently in various venues in the Midwest. Her work was also included in exhibits across the country. Ewald’s work is found in several public and private collections in the Midwest as well as in Chicago, New Jersey, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, Oregon; and in Oslo, Norway.