At the crossroads of painting, documentary photography, and cultural, personal, and family history/narrative, with stops along the way for some local food and a DNA test, my work seeks to explore how subjective, experiential, and cognitive processes confirm various visceral and fragmented links of all life. Ancestor worship provided the basis for much of my earlier work and continues to be an integral part of my practice.

My foundation derives from a blend of contemporary and painterly traditions including observation from life, personal iconography, and a mix of vernacular/photo historical influences. Source materials have included an archive of family photographs and documents, as well as images from old books, news footage, popular culture ephemera, nature studies, and reproductions of art from through the ages. All of this is refracted through an imagination populated with visions of fractal-like organisms, creatures and life forms.

I often create wall-sized pieces and assemblage-installations composed of drawings, paintings and fragmentary parts, differing in scale and media. My working process combines disparate genres, the human form, and abstract patterns and marks. Lately I’ve been thinking about memory and healing, and how trauma can be passed down and/or healed through generations. I aim to conjure an emotional response that can serve as a release.

My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally beginning in 1982, when color documentary photographs from my “Florida” series were included in Tacoma Art Museum’s Photography ’82 exhibition. Paintings, embroideries, and works on paper have been shown at museums and galleries across the United States including Thomas Solomon’s Garage, Los Angeles; POST, Los Angeles; the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California; Annika Sundvik Gallery, New York; OTIS Gallery, Los Angeles; the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California; Grant Wahlquist Gallery, Portland, Maine and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, Maine. A group of embroideries toured libraries of Italy as part of the First International Fiber Art Biennale. I participated in two painting residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.

In addition to earning a BS from Western Washington University, I hold a BFA and MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Designing & teaching my own courses and serving as faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena for over 7 years instilled in me a deep fondness for teaching college art and I’ve always considered my teaching duties to be an extension of my studio practice.

Please email me: jillpoyourow@gmail.com.

Please visit my full artist website: My website