Jill's profile

Jill Orlov’s sculptural practice is a culmination of her architectural background and her embrace of working with metals. Miniature scenes and vignettes are thoughtfully yet subtly storied with cultural issues and socially fraught topics. Techniques of welding and soldering, incorporated with carefully selected vintage objects, are used to create these magical worlds. The same heavy-duty techniques at this size disclose the delicate, elemental connections and textures that otherwise go unnoticed in "real world" building construction.

Reminiscing about her last year of Masters of Architecture studies, her thesis advisor witnessed her staring at a blank piece of paper on the drawing board. Seeing the frustration, she exclaimed: “Draw SOMETHING. Stop worrying about making something beautiful and just draw.” This brief quip helps illuminate Jill’s practice. For as long as she can remember, she has indeed wished to make something beautiful.

But yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s issues weigh heavily on her. She feels compelled to use the beauty of her sculptures to highlight causes such as book banning and the inhumane practices used in the justice system. Through her art, she has developed relationships with artists who are currently incarcerated and is collaborating with them on a miniature museum gallery.

Jill was born and raised in the mid-Atlantic region, even staying in the area for her architectural schools at the University of Virginia and University of Pennsylvania. She learned to weld in the continuing studies program in the Sculpture Department at Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work has been exhibited in solo museum shows such as in Tucson, Arizona, and group gallery and museum exhibits from New York to Washington, DC, including the National Building Museum. Awards include the Maryland State Arts Council’s Independent Art Regional Award, the City of Baltimore Mayor’s Individual Artist Award (now called the Independent Artist Award), and the 2023-2024 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Travel Artist Prize.

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