ICJA Alumni Painter Shares Passion for Art

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Local Chicago painter Jack Siegel (’51) exudes passion for painting and art. Armed with a sampling of his own paintings, he and his wife Joy, who also attended ICJA during its days on Wilcox, visit ICJA to inspire the next generation of artists. Jack spoke to art students for a full afternoon on Tuesday, February 5, and was kind enough to leave several paintings on display temporarily in the halls of ICJA. He spoke to students about the work of other artists who have inspired him over the years and answered questions about color, texture, pattern and the medium of oil paints on canvas.

Jack, who has had a successful career as a master oil painter and as a marketing agency that spans several decades, heard about ICJA’s art program through a school e-newsletter. “There was no art class in my day, but when I heard about the work students are doing today, I wanted to come to speak to them.” Art instructor Kathy Kelly was delighted to invite Jack back to his alma mater–although it’s come a long way since the early ’50s.

Speaking to aspiring high school artists, Jack explained, “You learn lessons when you put color down on canvas. Then, I really suggest you take the painting down off the easel, put it in a quiet space to look at. Sometimes it takes a few months to see what’s needed to make the painting knock your socks off.”

Surprising viewers is a continuous goal of Jack, who uses bright colors and whimsical designs to convey his creativity. His goal, he says, is to always give his viewers an emotional uplift. For students, it was a rare opportunity to hear firsthand the passion and commitment it takes to create the work on display.

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