Jaclyn Garlock's "Jingle Bell Time, What a Swell Time" at the Quad City Arts Center -- through December 11.

Through Friday, December 11

Quad City Arts Center, 1715 Second Avenue, Rock Island IL

A series of arresting, colorful, large-scale paintings is currently filling the gallery at the Quad City Arts Center, with the Rock Island venue, through December 11, hosting Jaclyn Garlock: Extraordinary Women depictions of life-sized women engaging in non-salaried work from cooking to laundry to volunteering … and enjoying themselves as they do it.

A native of Clear Lake, Iowa, who fashions bold narrative compositions in acrylic on canvas, Garlock states that she has been an artist all her life, but didn’t realize it until she was in her 30s. She tried teaching and then, wanting to do something more creative, opened a silk-screening business. After learning the process of silk-screening, Garlock began to experiment with the process and learned that she could layer images to create more detail. She began staging scenes using various props, which she photographed and then printed on rag paper and sold at fine art fairs around the Midwest. Although Garlock had a BFA in painting, she hadn’t painted after graduating from college until the year 2000, when she decided it was finally time to start.

As Garlock explains, “After messing around with different subjects, I decided to do a self-portrait. I dressed up, put on too much makeup, made my hair Tammy Wynette-big, and set my camera. I loved the result and was on the way to strictly figurative work. All my friends posed for me – they loved dressing up as something they were not. We’d set up different little scenarios and act them out like making a short movie. Then adding in various costume changes, I could stage and photograph the scenes to mimic the ideas I had in mind. With Photoshop, photos could be cut and pasted, adding in another figure or different props, to create the best composition. I started building my compositions around women for the simple reason that they are fun to dress up, but added men to the picture a little at a time, until now where they are more than just window dressing.”

Happy with the direction her paintings were taking, Garlock let go of creating and selling screen prints at art fairs, and concentrated on building a body of work to exhibit regionally at art centers and museums. She says, “I found that people related to my images and made-up stories about the people in the paintings – often ideas I had never thought of. Different people would ask questions and we would swap theories … . There were times I likes their stories better than my original idea. It's possible I stole a few … [but] it was all in fun.”

Regular Quad City Arts Center gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission is free, and more information on the Jaclyn Garlock: Extraordinary Women exhibition on display through December 11 is available by calling (309)793-1213 or visiting QuadCityArts.com.

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