Thank You Notes | Nina Irwin

On view: February 24 – March 31, 2024

Opening Reception: February 25th, 1-4 pm, Artist Talk at 2 pm. RSVP

Three images of Nina Irwins Work

Nina Irwin was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1965. Both her father and mother were outstanding creatively (artist and musician) and Irwin grew up completely surrounded by classical music, art and literature. This richly creative setting provided the ideal ground for her to develop her own interests in a wide range of artistic disciplines.

Irwin spent a number of years in school, studying various subjects until finally focusing on art. Realizing that she had to "simply finish college," she chose fine art – a decision based mostly on the fact that she "wasted a lot of time" at museums anyway – why not just get her degree in art? Irwin was immediately captivated by her rigorous courses in painting, drawing and sculpture – in which she excelled. This casual decision to study art had led her to her true calling in life.

Nina Irwin's favorite painting subject is the natural world. Translating into semiabstract landscapes and vases of flowers, these works suggest the subjects of spirituality and the search for truth and beauty. She paints vast skies and textured, craggy grounds. Sometimes architectural ruins appear amidst an imaginative landscape, but never assert themselves as anything more than a peaceful partner to the natural beauty of the surrounding vista. The paintings are conceived from memories of Irwin's exotic travels combined with ancient places she has studied in art history. These places are pure and quiet– the stillness broken only by the silent dialogue between place (painting) and the viewer. “I strive to convey, through my paintings and sculptures, the actual feeling of a place–much more than its physical characteristics. Here, the painting suggests a place and feeling - which is expanded through texture and color. I want to transport the viewer to another place and time.”

The works are carefully crafted using an unusual mono-print technique developed by the artist. Working on clay-coated panels, liquid watercolor and ink are somewhat randomly spread across a paper palette. Then, the rigid panel is pressed down firmly, “printing” fantastic textures onto the panel. This initial color print is then the basis for the overall subject. The artist then proceeds to “search” for the beauty and a story in each panel - carefully adding to and subtracting from the original, somewhat random mono-print.

Nina Irwin works from her painting and ceramics studio in the historic stockyards of Kansas City. She received her B.A. in Studio Art from UMKC and is currently working on her M.A. in Art History. In addition to her studio work, Nina teaches art and art history classes from her Kansas City studio as well as at the Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art. She is represented in private and corporate art collections globally.


This exhibition will be held in the Main Second Floor Gallery of the Evanston Art Center (EAC).

Gallery Hours

Monday–Thursday: 9am–6pm

Friday: 9am–5pm

Saturday–Sunday: 9am–4pm


Artwork sale proceeds benefit both the artist and the Evanston Art Center. If you are interested in purchasing artwork on display, please contact Emma Rose Gudewicz, Director of Development and Exhibition Manager, at [email protected] or (847) 475-5300 x 102.

This project is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and EAC's general membership.

Artwork Pictured: Nina Irwin, Aquarium Vase With Sapphire; Our New Day