Jill Price is a professional artist, curator, and educator who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Education at Western University. While studying and living in London, Ontario, Price immersed herself in the vibrant art scene, specializing in printmaking and drawing and receiving excellent instruction and mentoring from nationally recognized artists Helmut Becker, Kim Moodie, Wyn Geleynse, Sheila Butler, the late Colette Urban, David Merritt, Patrick Mahon, and Duncan DeKergommeaux.
Following in the footsteps of the late Ben Portis, Price worked for three years as an arts writer, reviewing local exhibitions for Scene Magazine. Price followed up her writing by serving as the Visual Arts Coordinator and Director of Forest City Gallery in 1997 and went on to positions as the Project Coordinator at the “Galleries @ the Galleria” and the Interim Director of the London Arts Council. Moving more towards her individual practice in 2002, Price teamed up with local artist Beth Stewart to open up the artist collective AXIS studios in the Covenant Garden Market. Given her first commercial solo exhibition at The Art Exchange in 2004, Price was also involved in a variety of downtown revitalization projects and group exhibitions across the region. Always wanting a challenge and understanding the importance of visual arts education for children, Price went on to achieve her Visual Arts Specialist qualifications at Althouse College where she received the Dorothy Emery Memorial Award in Visual Arts Education. Once certified with the Ontario Teaching Federation, Price landed an immediate full-time position at Matthews Hall Independent School.
After years of working as an arts administrator, gallerist, and exhibiting her own work in the London region, Price moved to Barrie, Ontario. Immediately opening her own studio and receiving exhibition grants from the Ontario Arts Council for her personal practice, Price also secured a series of project grants from the City of Barrie for the organization of Art ce Soir, an all night art event programmed in conjunction with Culture Days and Nuit Blanche.
After participating in a variety of high profile art fairs and securing work as an artist mentor at the Varley Art Gallery, Price began to expand her curatorial practice by working with the long standing Mad and Noisy artist collective in Creemore, Ontario. Excited by the amazing talent in Simcoe County, Price initiated and administered the opening of Gallery 111, another artist collective located on the main street of downtown Barrie.
Quickly becoming known as a practicing artist, gallerist, and instructor in the region, Price was approached by Georgian College to begin teaching within their Art Fundamentals program. This offer was soon followed by Price securing a position as the full-time curator and education officer at Quest Art in Midland, Ontario.
Inspired by all the artists she encountered through her programming, Price pursued graduate studies and was awarded a 2015 Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Upon conducting a Masters of Interdisciplinary Art Media and Design at OCAD University in Toronto, Price was awarded a 2016 Social Studies and Humanities Research grant, a 2017 Michael Smith Foreign Study Bursary and the 2017 Research and Writing Award for her thesis Land as Archive. Price’s practice-led research investigated the ecological and social impact of the global fashion industry with creative output visualizing the quantitative and qualitative data interwoven into the production, exchange and discard of textiles. Finally coming into her own as conceptual artist, this body of work led to Price securing public art exhibitions at the MacLaren Art Centre, Durham Art Gallery and was showcased as part of the 2018 Toronto Offsite Design Festival.
Now pursuing a PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, Price was the recipient of the 2018-2019 Alfred Bader Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities and the Faculty of Arts and Science Dean’s Award for Environmental Justice. Having recently had an essay “Undoing as Activism” accepted for publication with Panic @ the Discourse, an interdisciplinary journal of cultural studies, her current research Unmaking One’s Way Out of the Anthropocene was also presented at the 2019 University Art Association of Canada conference in Quebec City.
Widely exhibited and collected throughout Southwestern Ontario, Price is currently working towards two solo exhibitions slated for Orillia’s Art and Historical Museum and Georgian College’s Campus Gallery. Also working as a teaching and research assistant for Queen’s University, Price will be dedicating her summer to an artist residency with Union House in Port Union, Newfoundland and curating RE-crafted, a 2020 Canadian contemporary craft exhibition organized in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Council as part of Craft @the Edge; a Bonavista peninsula wide conference and program examining the importance of the handmade in relation to social and political critical issues.
Biography Courtesy of Jill Price
Framing my environmental practice amidst vibrant materialism, non-representational theory, Decolonial theory and Craftivism as discussed by Jane Bennet, Sara Ahmed, Timothy Morton, Eve Tuck, and Sarah Corbett, I confront my settler past, present and future by considering what it means to consume, make and curate in a moment of deep ecological crisis.
Connected to the land since early childhood experiences of camping, gardening and family walks, visual imagery has always been concerned with how we perceive and engage with our surroundings. Early narrative works naively recorded nostalgic impressions of Canada’s long gone “sublime” landscapes. Later examinations of land served to map the everyday anthropocentric practices of extraction, expansion and disposal across it. Transitional drawings served to reflect on and document internal landscapes and my relation or distance to the bigger world.
Wishing to move beyond traumatic anthropocenic narratives and unsettle ideological systems and economic networks that determine access to space and histories of place, post MFA research investigates “unmaking” as a creative act. At times dismantling the discarded or undoing personal material excess, performative and durational processes include unweaving, unwinding, removal, erasure and other techniques to explore how different methods of undoing can make room for the new, transform the manufactured into the raw or lead to somatic and ecological consciousness.
More aware of how environments are geologically, conceptually and culturally layered, post-studio interdisciplinary investigations embrace scientific data, botanical studies, drawing and the history of prescriptive eco-art practices to speculate on how we might unmake Euro-centric colonial perceptions and capitalist controls on land in order to draw attention to the unquantifiable value, knowledge, skills and labour of plants so as to arrive at systems of production and exchange that emerge from foundations of care and environmental concern.
Currently collecting and preparing seeds for reintroduction into their indigenous habitat, I am investigating how small gestures of unmaking might be seen as monumental acts that assist in the rejuvenation of bio-diverse ecologies, aid in making reparations to the land, acknowledge my allyship to First Peoples of Turtle Island and assist in resisting the full effects of climate change for future generations.
Artist’s Statement Courtesy of Jill Price
Jill Price, Undoing #1 (2018)
looped video, chair, acrylic and wool (2:08:24)
Undoing #1 is a durational performance that set out to investigate the potential of unmaking. In this video we see documentation of my hands unraveling a machined sweater as a way of exploring the potential of goods as raw material and deconstruction as a form of Craftivism or in this case Re-Craftivism. Always contemplating my role as a maker, this video presents a slow, restorative and meditative way of creating as an alternative to the accelerated rates of production manifested by the industrialization of skill and knowledge. Questions which arose from this practice-led research include: What is to say that a small and quiet gesture can’t be monumental? Do quiet acts of disassembling reinsert value into the materials, resources, labour and processes that often go unwitnessed? To date, the work has re-taught me that all material has memory and is part of a larger network of entangled material traces that define hyper-objects such as neo-colonization, capitalization, consumptionism, and global warming.
Courtesy of the artist
Biography Profile Photo: Andre Beneteau
Courtesy of Jill Price
CV Courtesy of Jill Price
A Driving Force interview conducted by Samantha Merritt
Research Assistant, PhD. Candidate, Visual Arts, Western University
Eric Simard, VideographerRead More
A Driving Force Interview: Jill Price