pearlman1“My high school art teacher always told me to look, to always be looking, to observe the contrast and color combination of the calm blue sky against the rough ocean waves.”—Ilene Pearlman

This idea inspires Ilene Pearlman to create the breathtaking and refreshing work that she produces today. Pearlman currently resides in Ardmore, and although she primarily works with fabric, considers herself as more of a painter.

During high school, Pearlman made the big decision that haunts every high school senior: which college to attend. Pearlman decided on Tyler School of Art.

After experiencing the stressful college process myself, I could not help but ask how she decided on going to this one specific art school and which other colleges she had applied to.

“Tyler was actually the only school I applied to. I figured that if I didn’t get in, then I wasn’t good enough.”

Pearlman laughs over the phone as she remembers her own thought process as a high school student.

“Thankfully, I was good enough and got in.”

According to Pearlman, attending art school was very different from being an artist in high school. She was no longer the well-known talented artist as she was in high school, but was now part of a large pack of other artists who strived for the same talents, goals and dreams that she did.

pearlman2“You become nobody in a way…it was hard to remain confident because it was so competitive,” Pearlman remembers.

Because she was taking basic art classes such as foundations, it was not until Pearlman decided to study abroad for a year in Rome and was able to travel through Europe and Northern Africa that she began to grow and discover herself as an artist.

During her year abroad, Pearlman was able to experiment freely because the academic aspect was no longer in high demand.

“Being in a different place was freeing. It was sort of like starting over,” Pearlman explains.

Today, Pearlman creates detailed and intricate fabric pieces by utilizing layers, color, and image. She is currently focusing on simplifying her work.

“I want to find the yin and yang in my work, start focusing on the concepts rather than just the surface.”

Readers can view Pearlman’s artwork on June 8 and 9 at InLiquid’s Art for The Cash Poor 14, in which she will be participating for the third time. Prints of Pearlman’s original works will also be available for purchase at the event.

Cathleen Cohen

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