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Jane Michalski is a versatile artist working in pastel, oil, and mixed media, and for the past ten years, the medium of encaustic.  In her current work, Jane continues the exploration of this versatile medium incorporating ink jet prints and using personal photographs as sources for abstraction.  A resident of Chicago for many years, she often returns to her native state of Wisconsin. Her creative energy is fueled by the presence of Lake Michigan and her love for the natural world.

Jane has exhibited in the Chicago area, and in regional and national exhibitions. Her paintings have received several awards and she has received grants from the City of Chicago and the Illinois Arts Council.

In addition to her studio work as an artist, Jane is active in Chicago’s Logan Square Community and is a former board member of the Logan Square Chamber of the Arts, producing and curating exhibitions for The Hairpin Arts Center.  Her education includes a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MA degree from the University of Illinois.

In the fall of 2017 Jane’s work will be featured in a solo exhibition at the Crown Point Indiana branch of South Shore Arts.  The exhibition will feature several large scale encaustic paintings from her “Water’s Edge” series, based on photographs from North Point , an outcropping of bedrock along the shores of Lake Michigan.


"Water's Edge (Dark Water)"

"Water's Edge (Dark Water)"


Like many artists, I am trying to make sense of this world, to feel myself as fully present and to ground myself in experience.  The physical nature of the world captivates me.  Moving through my life, I feel the presence of a past that is revealed through structures, landforms, rock, water, and earth.  As human history passes, the land prevails. As I contemplate permanence in the physical forms around me, I remember generations that have lived before and those who will come after. I seek a connection to the past and the future through my work.

In my paintings, I create substance through interpretation of structures and references to the earth. Some of this is literal, some is metaphor, and some completely abstract. I consider formal elements and the expressive characteristics of the medium of encaustic which can be both fluid and solid.  Transparent layers of wax are scraped, smoothed, and incised as I build texture and nuance of color. This process reflects time and memory within each piece.