Jill Hoffman-Kowal’s career as an artist began in the early
70s while attending the
California College of Arts and Crafts
in Oakland, California, where she collaborated
with her long-time partner, Joe Rees, during the Conceptual Art movement. During
this time, her work evolved from representational to idea-oriented, motivated
by art history
and the avant-garde scene in the San Francisco area. In addition to
producing art and exhibiting, she and Joe founded Target Video, a DIY video and
film production group whereby they documented art performances and rock bands
that would become icons of the emerging punk rock movement of the late 70s
and early 80s. As the success of Target Video evolved, so did Jill’s career. She
became co-producer of shows and promoter of the Target Video “electronic cinema”
tours in the U.S. and Europe, which also led to a job with Virgin Records in New York.
Her art extended to include photography as she documented the performances and
personalities of the punk rock life, as well as creating photographic installations
projected during the band shows. The experience culminated in a collection of
work archiving a pop-culture phenomena.
Jill’s art evolved as she relocated to Sarasota, Florida. In a new environment, she took the time to focus on producing and exhibiting her own work. From the mid-80s
to the present, she has created an extensive body of work consisting of minimalist
paintings in a variety
of series, inspired by a conceptually optimistic and aesthetic
point of view. Additionally,
Jill applied her experience with Target Video to function
as co-producer and exhibitor of
the Cities Transit Show, as well as vice-president of
ArTarget, an organization that exhibited alternative art in unconventional spaces. She
also served as both juror and curator on a number of regional exhibitions,
and as Director of Education at Art Center Sarasota.
To date, Jill’s work has been widely shown in fine art exhibitions throughout the U.S.
and abroad, including the San Francisco MOMA, Dokumenta, Arte Fiera: Internazionale
d’Arte Contemporanea, the Denver Art Museum, the Oakland Museum of Fine Art,
and the John and Mable Ringling Museum. She is currently represented by the
State of the Arts Gallery
in Sarasota, Florida, where she continues to live and work
as a full-time artist alongside her husband, accomplished sculptor Dennis Kowal.
Portrait of the Artist by Holly Hassellbarth.