Jill Hoffman-Smith grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York state with a graphite-smudged face and paint-stained fingers. Her love for all things art grew with her through the years. Serving in the US Navy enabled her path to cross with incredible people who shared their tastes, histories, arts and culture. Upon completion of her military service she returned to her roots, where she had a career within the Ontario County Sheriff’s office, married and raised a family.
As years passed, family vacations always included gallery visits, which consistently motivated Jill in various art mediums, primarily oil and watercolor painting. In 2016 she retired and enrolled in a wheel throwing pottery class. Her first experience with clay was thrill at first touch. It moved through her hands like a dance. The works imagined in clay became a blend of culture, color and form. Jill’s self-taught artistic style delivers the unexpected in fun, functional pieces and delightful
whimsical sculptures. We asked Jill how she found herself part of the Arts Center. She fondly remembers the winter day she came in to explore the Flick Gallery. She was charmed by the beautiful space, works and the friendliness of the staff who shared the Gallery’s journey and visions of the future. She was invited to bring in a few pieces of her work and was encouraged as an artist.
Today Jill not only enjoys membership in the Penn Yan Art Guild and in the Arts Center as an exhibiting artist, she has found a home in the Arts Center family. The feelings are mutual. As Jill likes to tell it, she’s found her love in clay and, with clay, life is just a dance.