Skokie artist advocates in work, life
Jacqueline Moses and her work at the Phantom Gallery
Jacqueline Moses Paintings
6-8 p.m. weekdays, 1-8 p.m. weekends, through May 25
Phantom Gallery, 4161 N. Damen Ave., Chicago
(847) 217-7423 or visit www.jacquelinemoses.com
Jacqueline Moses Reliquaries
Art on Armitage, 4125 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago
Updated: June 6, 2012 5:00PM
In the Skokie home of Jacqueline Moses, nearly every inch of every wall is covered with artwork. Each vivid oil painting tells a story. Dozens of plants flourish throughout the rooms and the widow shares her home with four rescued cats and a rescued dog.
The artist has always been an advocate for human rights, animal rights and preserving the environment, sharing her concerns through works that frequently reflect on what the future holds if we don’t pay more attention to the way we treat people and our planet.
Moses approaches those topics in different ways in her current show at Phantom Gallery in Chicago and at one scheduled for July at Art on Armitage, a Chicago window gallery.
The Phantom Gallery show features two 54-inch by 66-inch oil paintings and five smaller works in which Moses combined photographic transfers and oil paint.
The two large pieces are scenes from Africa — a place the avid traveler has never visited. “I may never go to Africa,” Moses said. “Sometimes I get very upset about what’s happening in the world.”
The Africa paintings, from the artist’s Globalization Affects series, speak of the destruction of the environment. A beautiful tree forms the centerpiece of one piece with other trees seemingly floating away. The second shows an armed figure hovering over a barren, burned-out-looking landscape.
Two of the smaller pieces are based on Moses’ visit to New Zealand and one from a trip to Turkey. “Every place has environmental issues,” she said.
The piece set in Turkey shows a large, awkwardly balanced high-rise building towering over a field filled with abstract ghostly images. It reflects the artist’s concern about what is happening to squatters since the government realized the value of the land on which they are living.
“They’re kicking all these people out and they’re putting them in high-rises like we used to put the poor in,” Moses said. “You can see some of those ghosts outside and the cows. They don’t know what to do. They’re people that have lived there for years.”
The New Zealand works reflect Moses’ concern about the number of dams that companies are creating and the impact that is having on the environment. “The New Zealanders are very laid back and they’re letting themselves get absorbed in what’s happening,” she said.
For the Arts on Armitage show, Moses will be exhibiting her series of reliquaries, which are containers for relics. This stunning, diverse series repurposes everything from a mirror to a sewing machine and baby crib. A number of pieces utilize organ pipes of metal or wood.
“All your life you go around saving stuff,” Moses said, noting that she located a number of the items used in the reliquaries in her house’s crawl space.
Moses, who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master of fine arts degree from Northern Illinois University, has had art residencies in Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine and Costa Rica.
She has had 30 one-person exhibitions in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and her work has been selected for nine invitational and juried exhibitions in Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, Florida, Italy and Slovenia. Pieces by Moses are in collections at such places as the Tucson Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Illinois State Museum, McDonald’s Corporation in Oakbrook and Galleria Arte Moderna in Italy.
Before retiring, Moses taught elementary school in Chicago.