Meet Local Artist – Jill King

What initially got you interested in art?   

As a child raised on Chicago’s North Shore, I yearned for nature and the wild and wanted desperately to live like the kids in the movies who went fishing and walked across the creek by placing stepping stones in the moving water. Instead, digging in the mud in my backyard was my favorite past time. I loved the feel of earth squishing through my fingers and often spent hours manipulating and forming imaginary cities and odd creatures. As I grew, so did my materials. My dresser drawers were filled with scraps of garbage I collected off the neighborhood streets. A rusted muffler would become a body for a figure. A milk carton would be transformed into a diorama. My hands became my tools. Like a shovel to a gardener, I unearthed my inner artist. I knew at a very young age that I could conjure up beautiful things and bring them into existence. When I was creating, I was present and content, I was at home. 

Jill King At the Contemporary Art Center Peoria
Jill King At the Contemporary Art Center Peoria. Photo by:

Where do you find inspiration? What do you do to stay creatively inspired?

I am a child of the cosmos who often sails into the starry vastness, pulling out forms and colors that embody the shapes and patterns of the galactic universe. My organic sculptures highlight the glory and intricacy of the natural world and represent inner growth, universal energy and transformation.

For inspiration, I look at forces of nature: topographical images of hurricanes, swirling water, Hubble Space telescope images and strange flowering plant forms. Capturing emotional states or the energy of now, I use that impetus as fuel to drive my process. I begin many of my works by drawing gesturally with wire or steel rods – twisting, melting and manipulating until the armature speaks to me. My three dimensional artworks are formed by stretching an opaque fabric over a linear steel construction. My airy sculptures look like floating, celestial cloud formations or other-worldly figures that have come to life. Welded steel, glass, Eco Epoxy resin, sewn acrylic coated fabrics, fade-proof parachute fabric, and color changing LED lights – these innovative, durable materials act as vehicles for expression in my suspended public sculptures.

Jill King, Swirled
Jill King, Swirled. Photo by:

What does your art aim to say to your audience?

Through my creations, I celebrate beauty, universal movement, and transparency. My power comes from revealing my heart through forming magical works of art. 

There are unseen forces in the Universe that we all can feel and experience when we are in meditative states, witnessing a flower blooming, or simply experiencing something beautiful, odd or striking. My work captures these forces in a concrete form. I manipulate steel, sheer fabrics and paint, because these materials are flexible and sturdy and guide me to surrender and trust my process. I also love that the fabrics capture light and conform to my steel structure by sewing and stretching onto my construction. My aim is to harness and conduct transformative energy.

Jill King, Interconnections in teh Data Center
Jill King, Interconnections in the Data Center. Photo by:

What advice do you have for young creatives or those just starting out in their career?

Tell yourself everyday: “I am amazing and I can support myself”. Trust your vision, explore new materials, be patient and put your work out into the Universe.

Where do you have artwork displayed? 

My work is currently in a Solo Exhibition at The Contemporary Art Center of Peoria- Preston Jackson Gallery, 305, South Water Street, Peoria IL.

Opens; April 29, 2022 thru June 17, 2002. RECEPTION: May 21, 2022, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

My Studio is housed in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston, IL. Suite (217) Please stop by during Open Studio and 1st Saturday Evanston/Evanston Made.

​My art has been exhibited in private and public places including: Harris Theater, The Lincoln Park Conservatory, Expo Chicago, SOFA, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and many galleries throughout the Midwest.  I have pieces in several private and public collections including; Data Center, Dekalb IL. -An International Social Media Company,  The Lorraine Morton Civic Center in Evanston IL, The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IL and Lewis University (Science Building) in Romeoville IL. ​In addition, I was an Arts Educator who had been teaching art enrichment courses at Colleges, Local Schools and The Evanston Art Center, The Art Center Highland Park for over 30 years. 

What is your favorite spot in Evanston? 

Since my studio is across the street from the iconic Al’s Deli, it one of my favorite places in Evanston to get a tasty, abundant,  traditional Deli sandwich.

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