Windy City, Winding Path

Phyllis Kapp looks back to the future

 

Phyllis Kapp

I’m Here to Stay – Phyllis Kapp

Phyllis Kapp‘s latest exhibition is a bit of a mystery, even to her.

Our beloved founder is in Chicago this weekend to attend the opening of a special show at the Peoria Riverfront Museum featuring work from the Southwest art collection of Charles and Jeanette Gilchrist White. The duo has been collecting Phyllis’ work for the last 20 years, so it’s hard to say what will show up in the brand new wing of the museum at Saturday’s opening.

“It’s a very big honor, of course,” Phyllis says over the phone from Chicago. “I know the last two works they purchased, but otherwise I’m not sure yet.”

Phyllis Kapp

In Each Others Arms – Phyllis Kapp

You always get the sense that Phyllis tends to look forward rather than back—she might be an octogenarian, but this year she’s done everything from paint the poster for the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta to fill our gallery with a whole new series of beautiful watercolors.

In this case, Phyllis can’t resist a trip down memory lane. The artist was born and raised in the Windy City, and attended the Art Institute of Chicago and Cornell University.

“Every morning I get on the bus and go to the Art Institute,” she says. “I went to school there, so walking up those steps between the lions, it’s meaningful. There aren’t enough days for me to see it all.”

There’s a moment of silence, and then Phyllis continues. “I was 18 when I went there, and now I’m 81. If you just flip the numbers, I’m the same age!” Even on a return journey, Phyllis keeps her eye on the path ahead.

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