Trunk Show

Trunk Show, oil pastel, 18" x 24"

Raised on a farm near Muscatine, Jane Chukas, was surrounded by a family of musicians. This fact and the dearth of any strong artistic instruction in her high school experience have resulted in a resume that is peppered with stints in community chorales, teaching music in the Cedar Rapids school district, and playing the bassoon.

A life change- a divorce- compelled the artist to consider deeply that most basic of questions: what did she want in her life? The answer resulted in the two art classes that she has taken in her career as a visual artist, one in painting and one in ceramics. Left to her own devices, Ms. Chukas concluded that painting was something which she could dig into.

Aside from taking to heart the advice to "use more orange", Chukas' growth from those early experiments just a few short years ago has been guided by her personal tastes. Her imagery has steadily evolved toward whimsically stylized forms vividly rendered in the saturated colors of oil pastel on a black ground. All the while, Jane has voraciously referenced her favorite old masters and children's book illustrators, constantly refreshing and broadening her visual vocabulary.

This past August, Jane moved to a walk-up apartment and studio in Galena. Freely confessing that Galena is still "not quite home", Chukas' work nonetheless derives its lyrical strength from her identification with the regions of eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

Text and image from Cambell Steel Gallery in Marion Iowa.

This page was first displayed
on December 01, 2011

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