Case Study: Jean

Case Study Outline:

Practicing Artist

Age: 68

Practice Focus:


Practice Goals:

Challenges or Obstacles:

Art Practice Description:

I was born in 1954. The prosperity boom that happened during the ‘50’s and early ‘60’s made life a bit easier for those who used to be lower-middleclass. We now aspired to be middle-class! Perhaps even upper-middleclass?

My parents moved to the Chicago suburb of Hillside in the late 1940’s. They thought it provided nice safe neighborhoods for us kids. Eventually 5 of us. I was in the middle. And the only girl. Lucky me! Stuck with the dishes and dusting, but no lawn or roof gutter duties!

I decided to attend one of the better business schools in Chicago. That led me to first the secretarial track (practically inevitable at that time), but over time to a lower management position with a manufacturing company.

I was able to feed my creative bug by doing quilting. However, as much as I enjoyed working on crafts at home. I also enjoyed taking classes offered in what I considered to be “fun stuff”: collaging with various materials. Isn’t collage sort of like quilting? No. Not really.

So much more was involved. I felt at a loss sometimes to know how to think about what I was doing, making, creating.

Fortunately, the Art Institute of Chicago had the occasional outreach program that I could participate in. What a joy those classes were!

Then in the 1970’s when Chicago’s gallery scene developed (or at least I became aware of it!), inspiration could easily be found.

I was an artist! I was an artist? I found it difficult to answer that question.

I need to find a path, or a tool of some kind to help me find that path. Here’s hoping that this is it!