By Angela Romeo

Jilda Schwartz is like a breath of fresh air.   Capturing moments is what art does and Jilda has found a way to capture decades.

Jilda is a graduate of Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.CA.  She has worked as an art director and illustrator in film, television and print, and has taught painting, drawing and mixed media at private and public schools.  For the last twenty-five years, her focus has been sculpting in clay and painting.  She divides her time between her West Los Angeles gallery and her Palm Springs studio.  Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums and can be found in private collections throughout the world.

Because her work is not confined to a particular medium, it takes more than a cursory look to grasp the depth of her vision. Her clay portraits are particularly captivating. A conventional portrait is flat – a painting or photograph lacks the three-dimensional element no matter how beautiful rendered.  A bronze bust may capture a likeness but too often misses the finer details, the nuances. Jilda’s clay portraits hone in on the humanity.


This is evident in the WWII Project Jilda participated in. Face to Face: 100 WWII Veterans in Clay. Face to Face is a visual arts project that involved sculpting one hundred life-size busts of men and women who served in World War II. The collaboration by three artists, Claire Hanzakos, Kaija Keel, and Jilda Schwartz, includes oral histories, personal photographs, and video documentation. The project was done under the auspices of the Arts Option Foundation and was curated by Jo Lauria.  Jilda’s busts capture a generation, not as the young men and women who left to fight in WWII, but as they are today. Her work memorialized the wisdom of age.  The pieces call out for the viewer to cup these faces in their hands to say thank you. Jilda created a memory that stretched back decades.  Capturing history is never an easy task but it is one that she has bridged.

Jilda’s paintings are currently on display at the Saguaro Hotel, Palm Springs. Curated in cooperation with the Palm Springs Art Museum Artist Council, Jilda’s work will be on display until the end of August. She is showing with Meg Walling.

Interestingly both artists created work inspired by the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is 378 square miles that is a testament to man’s ingenuity and folly. It repels and seduces but it always leaves a lasting impression. In the hands of artists the same subject can be interpreted in dramatically different ways. Such is the case here. Meg’s work is more representational when seen with Jilda’s work.

Jilda depicts the beauty and destruction of the Salton Sea in abstraction. Using color in a muted palette, the work, like her clay form busts, is respectful towards the Salton Sea but lays bare its struggle for survival.  The work is not shy. Jilda skillfully draws the viewer into the complexity of deadness and the sea.

To learn more about Jilda, visit Her work will be on display at the Saguaro Hotel, Palm Springs until the end of August.

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