Madron Gallery in Chicago launches "Growing Up Jewish—Art and Storytelling," by Jacqueline Kott-Wolle

October 23, 2019

Artist Jacqueline Kott-Wolle, 2021. Courtesy of Jacqueline Kott-Wolle.

Jacqueline Kott-Wolle first displayed her series Growing Up Jewish—Art and Storytelling in 2019 in Chicago. This series celebrates the intergenerational experience of Kott-Wolle's family after relocating to North America as a result of the Holocaust. Her lively paintings illuminate the inner workings of her family’s contemporary Jewish experience and celebrate her community.  

Jacqueline Kott-Wolle grew up in Toronto and received her bachelor’s degree from York University. She eventually settled in Highland Park, IL, with her husband David and three children, Henry, Sophie, and Issy. In Illinois, she began dedicating her time to honing her painting skills by attending classes at the Art Center of Highland Park. Now, Kott-Wolle primarily paints in oils, using lively colors to depict personal moments of her life and past.  

Kott-Wolle's exhibit Growing Up Jewish—Art and Storytelling, which launched in 2019, explores her North American Jewish identity through a series of 40 paintings. With subjects spanning five familial generations, she explores the settings and community that helped shape her Jewish identity. The exhibit features vibrant scenes such as “NJBs at a Sweet Sixteen” and “The Matriarch in Miami,” which pay homage to her community and illuminate the significance of the multi-generation Jewish experience.   

Kott-Wolle's Jewish identity was partly shaped by her parents’ and grandparents’ arrival in Canada after the Holocaust. Her vibrant and cheerful depictions of the generations that preceded hers are an intentional celebration of their dedication and perseverance in establishing a new life in the prosperous North American Jewish communities they entered. Her series “speaks to the resilience of newcomers who must navigate a painful past, contend with tradition and summon optimism for the future” (Kott-Wolle).  

Kott-Wolle had previously exhibited her work at institutions such as the Rissman Kol Ami Gallery, The Madron Gallery, The Art Center with Curatorial Support from The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Arthouse NYC. She has also spoken at several institutions such as The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Women's Philanthropy Board at The Jewish Federations of North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage NYC, and Columbia University. Kott-Wolle remains active in her mission to vibrantly depict Jewish life.  

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Beautiful work.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Madron Gallery in Chicago launches "Growing Up Jewish—Art and Storytelling," by Jacqueline Kott-Wolle ." (Viewed on May 20, 2024) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/oct/23/2019/madron-gallery-chicago-launches-growing-jewish-art-and-storytelling-jacqueline>.