Ilona Kennedy

Bio

Originally the co-founder and owner of an information management consulting firm for 15 years, I reevaluated my life's ambitions and switched to creating fine arts in my mid-thirties. Returning to college, I majored in printmaking at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, which has a world-renowned program in that field. Etching became my medium of choice and I participated in several regional and international shows. In 1993, my husband and I took our two very young daughters on a year long sabbatical to France for a year, where I began drawing and painting "portraits" of the local villagers, as ell as, favorite bits of scenery. In 1998, we relocated to West Orange, New Jersey. Since then, I have continued to paint and draw, while launching our two daughters onto their own paths of intellectual and creative discovery.

While at university, I discovered patterns of interest and formal concerns, which often repeated in my work, both in my etchings, and now, in my paintings. I like close-ups, the juxtaposition of curvilinear forms with more geometric lines, and the interplay of figure and activity (or stillness). When I think of artists whose work I am most attracted to (Caravaggio, Zurbuan, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Chardin, Sergeant and Hopper) I realize that many of their paintings share the same use of dramatic contrast of light and shade, as well as similar subject matter: scenes from daily life. Often I like to incorporate a sense of humor and/or playfulness in my pieces.

Although a painter of realism, I have always loved abstract art and my house is full of it. Recent trips to Turkey, Europe and South America, have given me enough photographic material, and bravery, to venture forth and try to create some abstracts of my own. I have also been exploring encaustic paint as a medium to tie together the collages i have been making. Modern masters whose work has interested me include Tapies, Diebencorn, Rothko, and Frankenthaler. Some contemporary artists who have inspired me the most in various ways include Lisa Pressman, Andrew Stevovich, and my mother, Helga Roht Poznanski.

Ilona Kennedy, August 2011

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RECENT  EXHIBITIONS

2012-2013

       -James Gallery, New Bedford, NY
       -Mast Cove Gallery, Kennebunkport, ME

2011

      -Out of Africa, Blue Door Gallery, Yonkers, NY (Juried)
      -Rose Squared Art Fairs-Upper Montclair, NJ and Westfield, NJ
  

2010

        -Metro Show, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ (Juried)
        -1978 Maplewood ArtsCenter, BANG 5, Maplewood, NJ
        -Visual Arts Center of NJ, Members’ Show, Summit, NJ (Juried)

2006

        -Metro Show, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ (Juried)
        -Faces of Winter-2006, Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, Bendheim Gallery,
             Greenwich, CT, 2006 (Juried)

2005

        -Figures and Faces – Old and New, Block Gallery, Montclair, NJ (Solo)

2004

        -Ilona Kennedy – Friends & Accessories, JCC-West Orange Gallery, West
             Orange, NJ (Solo)
        -Ilona Kennedy - Scenes from the South of France, Savory Restaurant/Gallery,
             S. Orange, NJ (Solo)
         -Let’s Face It - What is a Portrait? Studio Montclair Members Exhibition, Gaelen
             Gallery, Whippany, NJ (Juried, 2nd place award)
         -Gaelen Fifth Annual Juried Exhibition, Whippany, NJ (Juried, Best in Oil/Acrylic)
        2002 -Millburn/Short Hills Art Fair, Millburn, NJ (Juried)

2000

        -“Punny Girl – A Cowtoon”, Cow Parade 2000, West Orange, NJ (Juried)

COLLECTIONS

        Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Edmonton, Canada
        Canada Art Bank, Ottawa, Canada
        Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
        Newark Beth Israel Hospital, Newark, NJ
        Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
        SNAP Archives, Edmonton, Alberta
        Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
        University of Alberta, Art and Design, Edmonton, Alberta
        Various private collections in Canada, England, Estonia,  France, Sweden , Turkey & USA
      

EDUCATION

        B.A. Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1971
        Master of Library Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 1974
        B.F.A. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, 1991

SELECTED GRANTS/ AWARDS

        Silver Award, 5th International Biennial Print Exhibit: 1991 ROC, Taipei, 1992
        2nd place, “Let’s Face It: What is a Portrait?” Studio Montclair Exhibition, 2004
        Best in Oil/Acrylic, Gaelen Fifth Annual Juried Exhibition, 2004