French-based artist Jill Steenhuis arrives in the U.S. this spring, bringing in her bags the sun and skies of Provence.
In Aix-en-Provence, where Jill has lived and painted for over three decades, spring comes early, with the budding of almond trees, streaky crimson-slate sunsets, whiffs of wild thyme and rosemary, the reawakening of nature. All of the colors and scents of Cezanne country are expressed in this artist’s vibrant oils and prints, the most recent of which will be exhibited in a series of private and public showings starting in San Antonio, Texas on March 1 and ending in Birmingham, Alabama on March 23.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Jill Steenhuis, earned a BFA in studio art from Sweet Briar College before arriving in France to attend the Leo Marchutz School of Painting and Drawing. In the 1980’s and 90’s she was one of the rare artists to have a painting studio at the Chateau Noir where Cézanne worked from 1865-1898. Today she holds a special place in the Cézanne landscape, painting almost exclusively from nature “en plein air” in many of the sites that inspired Cézanne. Over the years, Jill’s work has earned numerous prestigious prizes. Most recently, she received an Award of Distinction at the Sidewalk Art Festival in Winter Park, Florida (2017), and one of her lithographs was chosen by a jury to be exhibited in the Salmagundi Club’s Printmaking Exhibition in New York held until February 15, 2018. For the fourth year in a row, Jill has been selected to compete among the top 30 American Plein Air painters in the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, taking place in Atlanta, GA.
Once again this year, Jill’s works will be accompanied by those of sculptor Sergio Ruffato. His “Metal Drawings”, interpretations of gestural sketches, are whimsically rendered in shimmering, moving metal sculptures. Graduate of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) in Georgia, in 2012, Sergio has forged his own career as a sculptor, winning recognition, exhibiting widely in the US and France. Recently, his works were chosen to be exhibited at Paris’s Carrousel du Louvre for the prestigious National Salon of Beaux Arts in 2017.
Jill’s creative exuberance is also expressed this year in a new limited-edition collection of silk scarves reproducing some of her most iconic works, a project undertaken in collaboration with the Brochier family in Lyon, the silk-making capital of France. Generations of Brochiers have produced artful silk prints since 1890, including the silk collections of the museums of France.
Jill Steenhuis’s book Art, Soul & Destiny: An Artist’s Journey from America to Provence, first published in 2011, is currently in its second printing. This 162-page, large-format book traces Jill’s remarkable journey in the footsteps of Cézanne. When at home in France, she hosts week-long painting workshops in her studio in the hills overlooking Aix-en-Provence.
This year, as in the past, a percentage of her exhibit proceeds will be contributed to charities and non-profit organizations, including The San Antonio Botanical Garden, the Ambleside School in Fredericksburg, and the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.
Jill Steenhuis and Sergio Ruffato – 2018 Spring Tour
SAN ANTONIO, TX, Mar. 1, 5-8 p.m. in the home of Caroleene & Bobby Dobson, 151 East Elsmere Place, Artist’s talk at 6:30 p.m.
FREDERICKSBURG, TX, March 3, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Oil painting workshop, The Grove House, 2245 N. Llano Highway, open house, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. March 4, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Open House, The Grove House, 2245 N. Llano Highway, Reception 1 – 5 p.m., Artist’s Talk and Demo 3 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS, LA, March 8, 5 – 8 p.m., Reception in the home of Mimi and John Koch, 1307 Philip Street, Artist’s talk at 6:30 p.m. March 9, 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Open House
WINTER PARK, FL, March 16, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Reception in the home of Mary Margaret and Gary Vasquez, 300 West Reading Way. Artists’s Talk at 7 p.m.
WINTER PARK, FL, March 16 – 18, Sidewalk Art Festival, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (closing at 5 p.m., Sunday 18.)
BIRMINGHAM, AL, March 20, Reception 5 – 8 p.m., Artist’s Talk at 6:30 p.m. March 21, Open House 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., both hosted by Maggie & Will Brook, 4325 Altamont Road.
BIRMINGHAM, AL, March 22 – 23, Workshop, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Forstall Art Center, 215 20th Street North.
ATLANTA, GA, April 21 – 29, Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, Various events in and around Atlanta.