RACHEL VAN WYLEN
Friday, April 3, 2020
EACH DAY’S LIGHT
Rachel Van Wylen graduated from Gordon College with a B.A. in Art and English in 2007. While at Gordon, she participated in a study abroad
program in Orvieto, Italy. After graduating, she went to The New York Academy of Art, where received an M.F.A. in Painting in 2009. While
in New York City, she also studied at the New York Art Students League. In the years since then, she has taught at a number of schools and
arts organizations, including Boston Trinity Academy, the Menino Art Center, and Spring Arbor University. She is currently the Art
Department Chair at The White Mountain School, in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, where she resides.
In 2015, she was the winner of the Loeschner Competition at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, one of the most significant sculpture collections in the Midwest. Her winning piece is now part of the museum’s permanent collection. Rachel has also shown her work throughout the Midwest, the Northeast, and Italy. A partial list of venues where she has shown her work includes Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, OH; The Elizabeth V. Sullivan Gallery at the Vytlacil Campus of the New York Art Students League in Sparkill, NY; The Muskegon Museum of Art in Muskegon, MI; Art Gallery Le Logge in Assisi, Italy; the Scarab Club in Detroit, MI; the Mystic Museum of Art in Mystic, CT; and Dacia Gallery in New York, NY.
Experiencing a sense of place is essential to Van Wylen’s creative practice. She paints as a response to the places she has lived in or visited. She likes
to work on location because it allows her to have an authentic experience of each site, to smell the air, see the light from the windows flickering on the walls of the rooms, and talk to the people who call that place home. Her subject matter ranges from still life to landscape to portraiture, but the common thread running through all of it is a fascination with being present and observing things as they are in a given place.
Van Wylen frequently chooses subjects that are ordinary, but said she finds magic in the way light hits them at a certain hour of the day. When she’s working in community with other artists, she said she often finds herself talking about light and time, since each day she may only be able to work on a piece for a few hours before the light changes. This creates an inherent rhythm to the way she works each day, and she said she has to accept that each day’s light will be enough.