“I’m still creating myself, still working on myself. I’m still working on my art. I’m still trying to become the best version of myself. I can’t be this person or that person, but I can be me. And so that’s kind of where I’m at now. And that’s why it’s so important to me to be kind to others.”
As a board member of Lemon Street Gallery, a performer in the fundraising dance troupe Women In Motion, a make-up artist and model featured in Meraki Vision Magazine, a cast member of Deadgar’s Dark Coffin Classics, and the singer in rock-a-billy cover band The Cat’s Meow, Jill Zgorzelski is fully living an artist’s life.
She has pieces on display at Lemon Street Gallery through spring, art for sale at Studio Moonfall in the Harborside neighborhood of Downtown Kenosha, and she has paintings hanging at Common Grounds and the Southwest branch of the Kenosha Library.
“I got let go from my last job because of Covid,” Jill said. “I’m not going back to any of that. Art is where my heart is right now. I’m doing what I can to be as visible as possible.”
Her social media features almost daily posts about her artistic endeavors. She likes a quote from P.T. Barnum, “Without promotion something terrible happens… Nothing!”
But even more important to Jill than self-promotion is supporting and promoting the work of other artists in and around the Kenosha area. One way she does this is by organizing pop-up art shows.
“It dawned on me one day: Why do I need to wait around and be invited to do an art show? Why don’t I just have my own?” she said. “I love hitting up other artists and giving them another avenue or opportunity to show what they do.”
This idea of artists lifting up one another is something Jill is especially passionate about. She said it comes from a time in her own life when she lacked confidence as an artist.
“I left a difficult situation. I felt very confused, I didn’t really know who I was. And I had to start my life in my 30s.”
She makes a point of encouraging artists to be part of the community.
“You talk to some artists and their self-esteem is so low, and they don’t think that their work is good enough. And I know that feeling and it sucks. I don’t think anyone deserves to sit around feeling like that,” she said. “It’s important to be a good person. To be welcoming.”
Jill sees one local group in particular as being especially welcoming: The dancers who make up Women In Motion.
“These women are cool as hell. They’re badass,” she said, laughing. “To have a community of women who love and support each other the way they do has made my life a lot better.”
Women In Motion will be participating in Milwaukee Krampusnacht at Bavarian Bierhaus, 700 W. Lexington Blvd., Milwaukee on Sunday, Dec. 5 from 4 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $5.
“We’re doing a modified version of The Witches Dance, and it snakes through the event,” Jill said of the performance. “There’s a parade of costumed characters, and it’s a great spectacle.”
And though she isn’t a vendor at the Krampus event, she will be there making purchases, following through with her goal of supporting other artists.
“I love being able to do that,” she said. “I’m working on a whole wall of local art in my home. I’m trying to make a point to get pieces from everybody in town. Because I think it’s good to have solidarity and back each other up.
Everyone wins when you network and when you share each other’s work. It’s not easy, trying to do what you love and make money on it. The more we support each other the better.”
Jill wants to give a shout-out to the following local artists:
JKalani, Korye Champion, Sam Margaret, Jason Hedman, Dove Paige Anthony, Walter Kreuser, Jim Namio, Lissa Bujniewicz, Ivana Cipurko, Donovan Scherer, John and Karey Scardina, Lynn Johnston, and Rick Braunhausen
Jill Zgorzelski Art Facebook Page:
Women in Motion Facebook Page:
The Cat’s Meow Facebook Page: