For the month of Feb., SALT Gallery (830 Fleming St., www.saltislandprovisions.com) will feature a new collection of colorful mixed media paintings by local artist Jill Caldwell. To celebrate Jill’s new works, SALT will be hosting an opening reception at the gallery from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1.
Jill Caldwell was born in Quincy, Mass. She received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art & Design in 1997. After graduation she promptly moved to Key West, an island she had fallen in love with as a child. “I knew this magical island with its bold vivid colors, gorgeous sunlight and translucent ocean was a place I needed to call home,” she says. While living here, she met her future husband and, on a whim in 2005, they left Key West and moved to Rockland, Maine. She now splits her time between Key West and Maine.
Jill’s paintings have been exhibited in different venues around Key West. She has had solo shows at SALT Island Provisions and Fleming Street Gallery and participated in group shows at the Key West Art and Historical Society at the Custom House, Gildea Contemporary Gallery and Stone Soup Gallery.
Jill’s colorful paintings reflect a significant influence by the hues of her surroundings. “Color is how I relate to the world and Key West is radiantly full of color,” she explains. “The endless shades of green foliage, the magnificent variety of flowers, the amazing aqua teal turquoise water, the billowing clouds highlighted peach pink with the last rays of sun followed by the purple indigo of nightfall… it makes my heart sing.”
Although all of Jill’s paintings feature abstract layers of stark lines and vibrant swatches of color, each mixed media work is remarkably unique. “I tap into feelings evoked from life — be it a relationship, an experience, music, my environment — and I use that as a foundation to begin,” she says. “I apply different colors of paint and mark making with various tools, including oil pastels, markers, graphite, charcoal and crayons. I build layers and I remove layers. It’s an organic process of letting the painting evolve on its own. I try to contain within the edges a history, an energy, a yearning, a secret, things that are hidden, seen and unseen that still leave parts of themselves, that still affect the whole.”
“Jill’s paintings are vibrant, evocative and deeply personal,” says gallery owner Laura Richardson. “They present a different message and evoke a different feeling depending on the viewer and we are so intrigued by the incredibly subjective nature of her pieces.”
SALT Gallery features an eclectic collection of local art, local sea salts, jewelry, pottery, wine and Florida Keys honey. Gallery owners Maria Sharpe and Laura Richardson feature a new artist each month at SALT. Jill’s work will remain on display until Feb. 28. For more information, call 305-517-6088 or visit www.saltislandprovisions.com. ¦