Drawn to Less is More


May 28 – June 15, 2014
The Mitchell Gallery – St. John’s College – Annapolis, Maryland


National Juried Exhibit
Nina’s drawing “Jikel” was selected for the exhibition by Juror Domenic Iocono, Director of Syracuse University Art Galleries.

The Mitchell Gallery
60 College Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401

Less is More, an exhibition of small works, no bigger than 8 x 10 x 4” is the Mitchell’s Gallery’s second National Juried Exhibition. My piece, a pastel and colored pencil drawing, was part of a multi-media show of 185 artists from across the nation. Small pieces allow more artists to be shown! I was delighted that “Jikel” was chosen for this particular exhibit.

My husband and I met Jikel in Chicago, a saleswoman in the “accessories” department of a fashionable store on Michigan Avenue. Her accessories were understated–black silk top, white shawl draped across her body, white pearl earrings. All added up to effortless elegance. Serenity. Her eyes, soft and luminous, smiled. Curious, we asked Jikel about herself.

Amidst hats, scarves and gloves, Jikel told us: “Last week I was in a car accident. I should have died, but I survived. I am here, I am alive.” She talked about the miracle of each moment, what was essential and important to her. Intrigued by both face and story, I asked to take photos for a future drawing.

Four years later I drew this picture while resting in the quiet beauty of an artist friend’s home in Mendocino County. Inspired by photos and memories, the drawing of Jikel flowed easily. While drawing, I received word that a beloved friend had died, one who lived with joy and passion.

I thought of Jikel paring things down to what mattered most to her. When I learned about “Less is More” months later, I submitted “Jikel” and she was selected! I am grateful for the meeting with this stranger and for the respite at my friend’s house that allowed this drawing to emerge. Easily distracted by daily minutia, I call on L>M as a great reminder in art and life.