Statement and Bio
The female experience is a reoccurring theme in my work. I am informed by everyday interactions and observations of gender-based expectations or generalizations. Within advertisements, popular culture, and the media; similar colors, patterns, shapes, skills, and pastimes intended for women are apparent. My material choices, surfaces, and forms are developed through my memories, exposure, and interest in this experience. Pattern and decoration in my work are appropriated from lace, crochet, or floral motifs. These have a feminine subtext through their aesthetic value or process of making. Alternative, found, or non-precious materials are often incorporated for their nostalgic value, feminine connotation, or color.
I aim for my work to be both beautiful and playful and at times even absurd or humorous; it addresses my own repulsion, frustration, and at the same time attraction to gender-based expectations.
Jill Baker Gower is an artist, jeweler, metalsmith, and educator who resides near Chicago, IL. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Metals from Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
Jill has taught metals and jewelry courses and workshops at universities, craft schools, and colleges across the U.S. She has exhibited her jewelry and sculpture in numerous exhibitions nationwide. In 2019, she had a solo exhibition at the Metal Museum in Memphis, TN. Her work has been published in Metalsmith magazine, the book CAST, Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America 1920 to the Present, and is in the permanent collections of The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn., the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., the Metal Museum, Memphis, Tenn., The Enamel Arts Foundation, Los Angeles, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Jill is a former resident artist of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tenn. From 2007 to 2018 she was an Associate Professor of Art - Jewelry/Metals at Rowan University, in Glassboro, NJ. She served on the Board of Directors for the Society of North American Goldsmiths, SNAG, from 2016 to 2019. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art - Jewelry/Metals at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL.