Jackie Pitts, a 2009 graduate of Oberlin High School and 2014 graduate of Oberlin College, is exhibiting her art work through Dec. 8 at Kendal at Oberlin’s Community Gallery.
Working from photos of models who are friends, family, and others close to her, Pitts uses watercolors or pencils and spends six to 12 hours painting her portraits. She usually works on more than one piece at a time, often setting a work aside for a year or more while she develops her ideas.
Present at a Nov. 18 opening was Pitts’ high school art teacher, Lorna Kretchmar, now retired, and many friends from Pitts’s high school days when she worked as a server at Kendal.
Pitts won many art awards during her high school years, including being named one of the top 300 artists at the Ohio Governor’s Art Competition in 2007; first runner-up at the 5th Congressional Art District Art Competition in 2008; and National Gold Award in Painting at the National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, 2008.
Starting her college studies at the University of Alabama, she spent her sophomore year in Jordan and Morocco, then transferred to Oberlin College and graduated with a major in politics and minors in dance and Middle Easter/North African studies.
Her work has been featured in publications for the University of Alabama and Oberlin College and displayed at the Morgan Conservatory. She recently showed her work at Slow Train Cafe in Oberlin.
Pitts lives in Chicago, working as a server in an upscale restaurant, which allows her flexibility to paint, dance, and visit museums. She contemplates graduate school in either art or dance.
Photos by Eleanor Helper | Kendal Publicity Plugs Artist Jackie Pitts is shown here at a Kendal at Oberlin event in November.