The Silent Treatment

works by Jane Gilmor

On view June 10 - July 7

                        I am so sorry

                        to Leave

so many weeds

            I had a stroke right the wrong time

                        I wanted to leave it


                                         Jack   (found note circa 1985)

In my studio mining forty years of unfinished work and collected materials, I’ve set out to re-purpose the sluggish build-up.     

I have many piles. One is a stack of old found notes and drawings transferred to soft metal. Some are drawings by the disenfranchised people I work with in my socially engaged practice, some are domestic, didactic signs and directions found in the abandoned buildings or given to me.

A decade ago a biology professor friend retired and after cleaning out his office, left eight boxes of approximately 2000 educational transparencies on the floor outside my office. Two months later he died of a heart attack while fishing his favorite trout stream in Yellowstone.

I keep those transparencies close by on a table where I fiddle with my stacks and piles. Gradually I came to intuitively layering the transparencies over the metal notes creating a sort of investigation of those slippages and entanglements of language and visual experience through which we try to locate meaning. These layered worlds seem to explore the dualities and fluidity of identity, dislocation and border crossings: presence/ absence, public/private, poverty/privilege, female/male.

The search here is for some unspoken connection in these random collisions.

For me they embody the peculiar, ridiculous, and meaningful (less) qualities of most things human.

Jane Gilmor has exhibited nationally and internationally for four decades. Her career monograph Jane Gilmor: I’ll Be Back For The Cat by art historian Joy Sperling was published by A.I.R. Gallery in New York Her in 2013. Last year she was the George A. Miller Endowed Scholar at The Center for Advanced Studies, The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. One of five artists selected nationally, Gilmor received a 2011 Tanne Foundation Award for her career achievements in visual arts. She is currently involved in a two-year socially engaged project, Shifting Ground - Outro Chão, working with East African Immigrants living in both Iowa and Portugal.  

Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The New Art Examiner among others and is included in several books including Lucy Lippard’s OVERLAY: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory; and Broude and Gerrard’s The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970’s History and Impact, Abrams, 1993; and Pioneer Feminists: Women Who Changed America, 1963-1976, B. Love, University of Illinois Press, 2006. More recently Gilmor has been a contributor to Cabinet magazine, to the Portuguese journal Ascensor and published numerous articles on social practice in recent books on the topic, including Cross Media Arts: Transdisciplinarity and Social Arts. Casal de Cambra, Lisbon, Portugal, 2019.

Gilmor has received NEA Visual Artist's Fellowships and Project Grants, a McKnight Interdisciplinary Fellowship, and residency fellowships in Ireland, Italy, London, and at The MacDowell Colony among others. In 2003-04 she was a Fulbright Scholar in Portugal. She has also curated exhibitions for individual artists including Priscilla Sage, Brunnier Museum, Iowa State University and thematic exhibits such as Where are You From? Contemporary Portuguese Art, Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College and Strategies of Belonging: A Social Art Practice, Antonio Gorgel Pinto and Paula Reaes Pinto, CSPS Hall, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 2019.

Gilmor’s recent solo exhibitions include The Architecture of Migration: I’ll be back for the cat, at Long Island University in Brooklyn, Bed Shoe Home: Poverty and Homelessness in Middle America, University of Ill. Champaign, 2017, and Blind at A.I.R. Gallery in New York.

Jane Gilmor attended The School of The Art Institute of Chicago after receiving a B.S. in Textiles from Iowa State University in Ames. Later she received an MFA and MA from The University of Iowa in Iowa City. She is an Emerita Professor of Art at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she taught from 1974-2012. She is affiliated with A.I.R Gallery in New York since 1985 and maintains a studio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

For inquiries and sales, please contact


Please join us for a reception with the artist on Sunday, July 7th in the cafe from 4pm - 6pm.