Janina Monkute Marks Solo Exhibition

Evanston Art Center

Feb. 15, 2024 - Feb. 25, 2018

1717 Central Street
Evanston, 60201


Evanston Art Center 2018 Exhibition: JANINA MONKUTĖ MARKS

DATES: February 15 – 25, 2018
CLOSING RECEPTION: Sunday, February 25 from 1 – 4 pm
GALLERY HOURS: 9am – 9pm, Monday – Thursday; 9am – 5pm, Friday; 9am – 4pm, Saturday & Sunday


The Evanston Art Center (EAC) is excited to welcome the public to an exhibition of works by Janina Monkutė Marks. From February 15th through the 25th, the Art Center will be exhibiting her artwork in a solo exhibition. Using floral anthropomorphic allusions, geometric abstractions, traditional ornaments, and original motifs, Janina was able to imitate the general scheme and structure of Lithuanian folk art. All of these traditional compositional elements come together in her prints, paintings, and tapestries.

Janina Monkutė Marks was born in Radviliškis, Lithuania on September 21st, 1923, and passed away on November 13th, 2010. In the autumn of 1944, because of the war, Janina was forced to relocate to Germany. From 1945 to 1947, she studied archaeology, art history and Romans languages at Innsbruck University in Austria. In 1947- 1950 attended École des Arts et Métiers in Freiburg, Germany. There she acquired her skills in the visual arts: studied textile methods, drawing, and graphics.

In 1950, Janina emigrated to the USA. After 1956, she actively practiced as an artist in Chicago, studied and worked with many artists, such as Don Baum, Claude Bentley, Harry Bouros, Harold Haydon, and Viktoras Petravičius. She was closely associated with the Hyde Park Art Center and B.I.G. Arts Center in Sanibel Island, Florida. Since 1972, Janina Marks started organizing the popular “Annual Members Exhibition” in Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago and in 1974, she became one of the founders and leaders of the Lithuanian Woman Artists Association in Chicago.

As art critic Danas Lapkus commented, “Janina Monkutė Marks attained an important place in Lithuanian and American art, especially for her work in the field of textiles. Recurrent invitations to participate in juried American and international exhibits are proof of her artistic success. But one needs only to look at the paintings, prints, and textiles where the ironic and the tragic, the religious and the liberal, primitive and modern are elegantly combined to really appreciate the importance of Janina Monkutė Marks’ art.”

Janina’s interest in Lithuanian folklore and her collection of ethnographic art naturally led her to folk art as a source of wisdom. Her work shows experimentation with collage and gesso priming and they work to instill a sense of melancholy in the viewer and many of her pieces are reminiscent of the mandala, the visual symbol created by Hindus and Buddhists and her prints combine the rough shaping of individual forms and geometric ornaments. Through the use of traditional Lithuanian artistic elements, she consistently uses motifs of road and journey, symbolizing the quest for the meaning of life.

Janina Monkutė Marks’ works have been exhibited in the Chicago Art Institute, The North Shore Art League (Winnetka, Illinois), Dunes Art Foundation (Michigan City, Indiana), Sun Times Gallery (Chicago, Illinois), Big Arts (Sanibel, Florida) and the Old Water Tower Place (Chicago, Illinois). She had more than twenty one-person shows. Janina constantly took part in the exhibitions of the Lithuanian Art Centers, such as Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Čiurlionis Gallery, and Lithuanian Art Museum in Lemont.

Janina Monkutė Marks’ artwork will be exhibited in the first floor gallery of the Art Center. There will be a closing reception on Sunday, February 25th from 1 – 4pm, which will be free and open to the public.

Evanston Art Center, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. The Art Center offers extensive and innovative instruction in broad areas of artistic endeavor through classes, exhibitions, interactive arts activities, and community outreach initiatives.

Evanston Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. Evanston Art Center Gallery Hours: 9am – 9pm, Monday – Thursday; 9am – 5pm, Friday; 9am – 4pm, Saturday & Sunday. First and second floor gallery spaces are handicapped accessible. Limited free parking is available.

For more information, please visit us online at www.evanstonartcenter.org or contact Cara Feeney, Manager of Exhibitions, at (847) 475-5300. Visit the Evanston Art Center on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EvanstonArtCenter/, follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/evartcenter, or on Instagram: @EvanstonArtCenter.

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