Depicting Emotions

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If you rode down Reisterstown Road 30 years ago, you might have spotted Jerry Gilden’s Gallery. Today, it’s no longer there, but you’ll see its legacy in the work of Juliet Gilden, Jerry’s daughter. Gilden is an artist, a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art and Towson University whose love of art was kindled in her parents’ gallery.

“My siblings and I were always painting and surrounded by art since we were little. And the four of us, we just really loved art and drawing and painting,” Gilden said.
Gilden’s artwork is inspired by everyday life.


“I’m inspired by something that I see in real life and then I take it from there,” Gilden said. “A lot of times the inspiration comes from even a feeling. Like, if I see a mother and baby at a certain moment and it gives me a feeling of joy and love … then that might inspire me to paint out the moment that it makes me feel.”

Her work is also inspired by women, she said, and “the different emotional activities that happen in their lives.”

When it comes to painters who delight and influence her, Gilden cites her mother and Fernando Botero, a 20th century Colombian artist famous for his “chunky figures,” as Gilden said.

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“I always was inspired by his work because I felt that the style of the chunkiness was ever-present in everything he did from an apple to a banana to a person and also you could feel the emotional excitement. I feel it when I look at his work, what sometimes are mundane [moments],” Gilden said.

Her mother’s work has also influenced her for its depiction of everyday life and her skill at capturing the emotions that people feel in those moments.

“She captured many everyday moments from a shiva house to two people falling in love,” Gilden said.

Most of Gilden’s artwork gets sold online, often through social media.

“Social media is such a great place to get your name out there and to connect with people from far away,” she said. “It’s brought customers to me from all over. Even as far as Japan. It’s just a modern phenomenon because you would never be able to do that just a few years ago.”

Through social media, Gilden was also able to get connected with Surfer’s Healing, a national organization that teaches surfing to children with autism.

“The man who runs the organization reached out to me and asked if I would paint one of my images on a surfboard,” Gilden said.

The surfboard was then auctioned off in California and the proceeds helped fund the organization’s work. Are you an online bingo fan? Try Velvet bingo and explore a new bingo world.

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A portion of Gilden’s work is premade and another part is commissioned.

“I really love doing the commissions,” Gilden said. “It’s kind of like presenting somebody with a photograph and then some.”

Recently, Gilden worked on a commission of a portrait of a family that was given as a Mother’s Day gift.

“[The client] wrote to me afterwards to tell me that when he presented the painting to his wife she burst into tears. She was so happy. That was probably the most memorable thing to date. To touch somebody that I’d never met. To be able to give somebody those types of feelings that’s what’s memorable and exciting to me,” she said.

vbrown@midatlanticmedia.com

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