89.1 WEMU

creative:impact - There Is Nothing Plain About This En Plein Air Artist!

Mar 10, 2020

Jill Stefani-Wagner
Credit Jill Stefani-Wagner

Jill Stefani-Wagner, a master pastel artist from Saline, travels around the world painting “en plein air,” or outdoors to create landscapes and cityscapes.  She tells The Arts Alliance’s Deb Polich and WEMU’s David Fair about her award-winning adventures on this edition of “creative.impact.”


Deb Polich, President and CEO of the Arts Alliance

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.  In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, the President and CEO of The Arts Alliance, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County.

ABOUT JILL STEFANI-WAGNER

CHASING THE LIGHT

As a contemporary impressionist painter, Jill is obsessed with capturing light.  Plein air painting is her passion, but during the colder months, she works on larger pieces in her studio.  She paints in both pastel and oil, two mediums which complement each other nicely.

Her subjects are varied, ranging from country landscapes to inner city architecture, from portraits to casual nudes, from seascapes to interiors. She loves to travel and sometimes work from photos she has taken on the road, but when weather permits, her first choice is always to paint outdoors (en plein air), especially in her beloved Italy.

The consistent theme that attracts her is light and shadow.  She aims for realism with a painterly twist, but sometimes she allows the rich hues and textures of a scene to dominate.  Oil and pastel are exhilarating mediums that lead to endless adventures... and sometimes she's just happy to follow their lead.

Jill Stefani-Wagner with onlookers
Credit Jill Stefani-Wagner

BIOGRAPHY

Jill Stefani Wagner’s oil and pastel paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and are included in various corporate and private collections.

Twelve of Jill’s paintings have been accepted into the prestigious International Association of Pastel Societies Exhibits and she has been honored with multiple awards in the Pastel Society of America.  The Pastel Society of North Florida recently honored Jill with Best of Show Award in their National Exhibit.  Pastel Journal Magazine has  awarded her five Honorable Mentions in their Pastel 100 Shows and she has been juried into and recognized in multiple national competitions over the years.

In 2016 Jill's painting appeared on the cover of Plein Air Magazine and is often featured in that publication as well as Fine Art Connoisseur.  Pastel Journal has included her pastel paintings in multiple articles and the best selling French magazine, Practique des Arts, has also highlighted her pastel “skyscapes."

Recently Jill was awarded Master Circle status in the International Association of Pastel Societies.  A Master Pastelist in the Pastel Society of America, she also belongs to Degas Pastel Society, Great Lakes Pastel Society, Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, Great Lakes Plein Air Painters Association and Ann Arbor Women Artists.

Ms. Wagner has mounted solo exhibitions at The University of Michigan, The University of Michigan Health System, The River Gallery, Monroe Community College, and Pfizer Corporate Headquarters.  She teaches art workshops around the country and has been invited Faculty at the Plein Air Convention in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019

Jill Stefani Wagner was born in Port Huron, Michigan.  She received a B.F.A. from The University of Michigan School of Art and was the owner and creative director of an award-winning advertising firm in Ann Arbor, before "seeing the light" and becoming a full-time artist.

Jill Stefani-Wagner working with canvas
Credit Jill Stefani-Wagner

SELECTED EXHIBITS

2019

Paint the Parks Exhibit   Second Place

International Association of Pastel Societies Web Show

Ohio Plein Air Society Competition Honorable Mention Award

Pastel Society of America National Exhibit Pastel Societies of the Southeast Award

Paint Grand Traverse Plein Air Festival Honorable Mention Award

UArt Online Exhibition

Great Lakes Pastel Society Members Exhibit Honorable Mention Award

Oil Painters of America Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils

American Impressionist Society Small Works Showcase

International Association of Pastel Societies Master Circle Exhibition

Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival

Wayne Plein Air Festival Two Honorable Mention Awards

2018

Plein Air Magazine Plein Air Salon  Best Pastel Award and Best Plein Air Award

33rd International Association of Pastel Societies Webshow Exhibition

Degas Pastel Society 17th Biennial National Exhibition Award of Merit

Mountain Maryland Plein Air

Pure Color International Online Exhibit

Paint Grand Traverse Plein Air Festival Honorable Mention

Plein Air Magazine Plein Air Salon Best Pastel Award

UArt Online Pastel Competition

Michigan Scapes

Paint Annapolis

Great Lakes Pastel Society National Exhibit  Bronze Award

Wayne Plein Air Festival Gamblin Award

2017

International Association of Pastel Societies Web Show Awarded Master Circle Status

Degas Pastel Society 20th Member Exhibition

*Painting Italy

Shades of Pastel

Carmel on Canvas 2 Quick Draw Awards

*Pastels and Oils

Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival Artist Choice Award

University of Michigan Stamps Alumni Exhibition

UArt Online Competition

Mountain Maryland Plein Air Festival   Second Place Award

Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition & Festival

Great Lakes Pastel Society Exhibit

2016

Plein Air Magazine Plein Air Salon    Best Overall Pastel

Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival   Quick Draw First Place Award

Great Lakes Bay En Plein Air   Honorable Mention and Quick Draw First Place Award

Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition and Festival

Great Lakes Pastel Society National Exhibit Great American Art Works Award

Wayne Plein Air Painting Festival   Golden Artist Colors Award

*Our Town, Our Land – Painting Saline

Pastel Journal Pastel 100 Show Honorable Mention Award

Seneca Plein Air Painting Festival Artists Choice Award

2015

Seneca Plein Air Painting Festival First Place Award

The Pink Exhibit  

Painters Paint Italy 

Great Lakes Pastel Society Member Exhibit

Pastel Society of America 43rd Annual Exhibition Pastel Society of Canada Award

Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival Quick Draw First Place Award

Brighton Paint Out People’s Choice Award

Great Lakes Bay En Plein Air First Place Award

Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition & Festival

International Association of Pastel Societies PastelWorld Exhibit

Pastel Invitational

Ann Arbor Women Artists 2015 Spring Exhibition   Best of Show

Jill Stefani-Wagner doing plein air
Credit Jill Stefani-Wagner

2014

Art Off the Wall Exhibition

Terra Nova II

International Association of Pastel Societies Web Show

The Artist’s Magazine 31st Annual Art Competition Finalist

92nd Annual All Media Exhibition

Reaching for the Light

Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival  First Place Award

Great Lakes Pastel Society National Exhibit

Terra Nova Landscapes Exhibit

Pastel Journal Pastel 100 Show   2 Honorable Mention Awards

2013    

Legacy of the Land Through Art Honorable Mention Award

About: Face Honorable Mention Award

Pastel Society of America 41st Annual Juried Exhibition Pastel Society of the Southwest Award

Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival  First Place Award

Great Lakes Pastel Society 2013 Members Exhibit

2012

Pastel Society of North Florida National Exhibition   Award of Merit

Great Lakes Pastel Society National Show   Terry Ludwig Award

Pastel Society of America 40th Annual Open Juried Exhibition

International Association of Pastel Societies 20th Juried Exhibition

2011

The 2011 International Association of Pastel Societies Web Show

* Faraway Places: history, objects, spirit & spaces

Pastel Society of America 39th Annual Juried Exhibition   Art Times Award

Ann Arbor Women Artists 2011 Exhibit  3rd Place Prize

Great Lakes Pastel Society’s Member Show

2010

Great Lakes Pastel Society National Exhibition

Pastel Society of North Florida National Exhibition    Exceptional Award of Merit

ArtWalk Group Show

20 x 20 Group Show

Great Lakes Pastel Society National Exhibition

Art on the House

Jill Stefani-Wagner doing plein air in town
Credit Jill Stefani-Wagner

RESOURCES:

Jill Stefani-Wagner

Jill Stefani-Wagner Bio

Jill Stefani-Wagner on Facebook

Jill Stefani-Wagner on Instagram

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu