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Artist Statement

I paint with a deep desire and a need to say what I know. My gift and developed skill is an ability to reach deeply into the inner core of another human being to make both truth and art. I have sculpted, thrown, etched, drawn and painted everything the eye can see. 

Artist Bio

Recognized museum artist Jackie Kirk is best known for her series, "The Face of AIDS," a one-woman show of 50 paintings (25 pairs) at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, CA, in 1991. The paintings, acrylic on rag board, are three by four feet framed in museum legat wood.

Jackie was born in 1929, and has shown in 5 major museums including archives in the Women's Museum in Washington DC and a One Woman show at the Duke Museum in Nort Carolina . She has spend a lieftime teaching, painting and drawing and at 86 is still thriving on her own and making art every day. 

Video on The Face of AIDS 1996 by Judith Selby Lang:



  • University of California at Davis, Minor in Social Science 1975

  • Dominican College, graduate work 1972

  • Sonoma State University, BA Art Major 1970; Teaching Credential 1971

  • University of Minnesota, AA 1949

  • College of the Pacific, 1948-1949



  • “The Face of AIDS,” one person show, California Palace of the Legion of Honor (Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator), San Francisco, CA - March 18 - June 19, 1991. Color catalogue.

  •  “World AIDS Day,” two paintings selected as the only art for display, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA - December 3, 1990

  •  “New Acquisitions,” Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, two paintings purchased for permanent collection and one painting donated by Dr. Roger Keyes, Curator - San Francisco, CA - 1991

  • “The Face of AIDS,” one person show, Duke University Museum of Art (Michael Mezzatesta, Curator), Durham, NC - 1996. Color catalogue

  • “The Arts in Healing,” The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH -1995. Color catalogue

  • The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, archives from1961 to 1999, Witness: The Artist’s Vision in “The Face of AIDS,” in public library; video of “Witness,”  - installed 1999



  • The Story of Bird (seeking a publisher), 1999

  • Witness: The Artist’s Vision in “The Face of AIDS", Pomegranate Artbooks, Oct 1996



  • Flow Fund Grant ($20,000) in support of The Face of AIDS Project - 1995

  • Individual Artist Grant from the Marin Arts Council - 1991

  • Purchase award from the San Francisco Art Commission of Juried Painting:“Flower Influenced Art Exhibit” - 1988

  • First place painting award, Ross Art Center Group Show - 1979

  • First place juried painting award and public painting award, San Leandro Art

  • Association, San Leandro, CA - 1961




  • “The Face of AIDS,” California Palace of the Legion of Honor (Curator, Robert Flynn Johnson) - San Francisco, CA - March 18 - June 19, 1991.

  • “World AIDS Day,” two paintings selected as the only art for display, California Palace of the Legion of Honor - San Francisco, CA - December 3, 1990

  • “World AIDS Day,” St. Patrick’s Church - Larkspur, CA - 1989

  • “Recent Work,” C.C.C. Gallery - Tiburon, CA - 1986

  • “Portraits of Susan” Cafe Nuvo Gallery - San Anselmo, CA - 1986

  • “Paintings of the Elderly,” National Institute of Health Conference, Bethesda, MD - 1984

  • “Recent Paintings,” Two Bird Gallery - Forest Knolls, CA - 1984

  • “Elderly Series,” Vallejo Ferry Gallery - Sausalito, CA - 1982

  • “Elderly Works,” The Darkroom Gallery - San Rafael, CA - 1982

  • “Recent Watercolor,” Around the Corner Gallery - Mill Valley, CA - 1979

  • “Vernesage,” Sally Salens Studio Gallery Sea Cliff - San Francisco, CA – 1978

  • “The Story of Bird,” Sightings Gallery, San Francisco, CA - January 1999

  • “Recent Works,” Emmie Smock Gallery, San Francisco, CA - 1997

  • “The Face of AIDS,” Duke University Museum of Art (Michael Mezzatesta, Curator), Durham, NC - 1996. Color catalogue

  • “Open Studio Exhibitions,” Marin Arts Council - 1996

  • “Three Series of Jackie Kirk,” Third Floor Gallery, California State University - Chico, CA 1993/1994

  • “Poetry Reading for National AIDS Day,” Invitational, Falkirk Cultural Museum, San Rafael, CA - 1993



  • Judith Faught, “Beyond the Faces,” front page story with color illustration, Daily Republic (Fairfield, CA), January 2001

  • Brian Hamlin, “Essence in Image,” full page story with color illustration, The Reporter (Fairfield, CA), November 10, 2000

  • Kristina Feliciano, “The Face of AIDS,” two page story with six color illustrations, American Artist (New York, NY), 1997

  • Andrew Massey, “Artist to Lecture on Portrait Series of AIDS Sufferers,” Daily Californian, November 18, 1997

  • “A Fascinating Ride,” Artist’s Dialogue, Fall 1997

  • Harry Roche, “Jackie Kirk, Emmie Smock Gallery, Art Museums and Galleries,” San Francisco Bay Guardian, July 30, 1997

  • H. Robert Malinowsky, “Witness: The Artists’s Vision in The Face of AIDS,” AIDS Book Review Journal - June 1997

  • Richard Polito, “Artist Paints Face of AIDS in Documentary,” Marin Independent Journal, February 1997

  • Robin Joy Berenson, “The Power of Art,” Pacific Sun (Marin County, CA), December 18, 1996

  • Lana Caprina, “Bearing Witness & Questioning A Label,” Gay Chicago Magazine, December 5-15, 1996

  • Melanie Credle, “AIDS Portraits Paint a Picture of Suffering,” The Herald Sun (Durham, NC), December 2, 1996

  • Robert Armstrong, “Paperbacks,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 24, 1996

  • Duke University Dialogue, Vol. 11, November 21, 1996

  • Duke University Museum of Art Catalogue, Fall 1996-97

  • The Arts in Healing catalogue for “The Arts in Healing Exhibit,” The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, September, October, 1995

  • Michele French, “Powerful Emotional Exhibit at CSUC Gallery, Chico,” Enterprise Record, January 16, 1994

  • Mary McMahon, “Courage in the Face of Despair,” Orion, (Chico, CA), December 8, 1993 (Illus.)

  • Marlys Williams, “Face of Courage,” CNR Chico News Calendar, November 24,1993 (Illus.)

  • Heather Sullivan, “New Portrait Series Represents A Move Toward More Reflective Expression,” Jackson Hole News, August 11, 1993 (Illus.)

  • Kenneth Baker, “Paintings, Electronic Art Clash,” San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle Datebook, April 7, 1991 (Illus.)

  • Barrett Watten, “Eye to Eye--The Face of AIDS: Works of Art on Paper by Jackie Kirk, Art Week, May 9, 1991 (Illus.)

  • “Portraits Record Pain of AIDS,” Mail Tribune (Medford, OR), April 14, 1991 (Illus.)

  • “The Face of AIDS” Exhibits Magazine, May/June 1991

  • “Face of AIDS, Artist Paired,” San Mateo Times, May 22, 1991 (Illus.)

  • John Mello, “The Faces of AIDS,” Mom, Guess What? (Sacramento County, CA), May 15, 1991 (Illus.)

  • Tyson Underwood, “Arts,” The Pacific Sun (Marin County, CA) May 3, 1991 (Illus.)

  • Phyllis Bragdon, “Artist Explores AIDS with A Reflective Study of Herself,” Mill Valley Herald, April 29, 1991 (Illus.)

  • “Show Explores AIDS Through Self-Portraits,” Napa County Register, April 1991 (Illus.)

  • “Artist Displays Unique Talent,” Vacaville Reporter, April 23, 1991 (Illus.)

  • Arts, Pacific Sun (Marin County, California), April 22, 1988 (Illus.)

  • Nancy Steidtmann, “An Artist Looks at the Face of AIDS,” Marin Independent

  • Journal, April 21, 1991 (Illus.)

  • Nancy Steidtmann, “Fine Arts Museums Open AIDS Exhibit: Face of AIDS,”

  • San Francisco Sentinel, April 18, 1991 (Illus.)

  • Jim Spahr, “In Memory of Larry Bonham,” Argus Courier (Petaluma, CA), April 16,

  • 1991 (Illus.)

  • Phyllis Bragdon, “Sensitive Portraits: A Reflective Study of the Inner Self,” Ebbtide

  • (Marin County, CA) April 16, 1991 (Illus.)

  • Rita Fink, “AIDS Victims’ Portraits Reveal Inner Strength Just to Stay Alive ArkBeat (Tiburon, CA), April 10, 1991 (Illus.)

  • “Face of AIDS, A Show of Love, A Search for Courage,” Metro Reporter

  • (Syndicated, appearing in local newspapers in Vallejo, CA, Richmond, CA,

  • Oakland, CA, Berkeley, CA, San Joaquin, CA, San Jose, CA), April 7, 1991

  • “Face of AIDS: A Show of Love and Search for Courage,” Sun Reporter, April 1991 (Illus.)

  • “Faces of AIDS,” San Francisco Independent, March 30, 1991 (Illus.)

  • Richard Steven Street, “Paintings of the Lonely,” Arts, Pacific Sun, May 7, 1982

  • Lorrie Lynch, “They’re in a Class All by Themselves” Living, Independent Journal, April 30, 1982 (Illus.)

  • Beverly Terwoman, “Jackie Kirk’s Watercolors” Pacific Sun, February 19, 1979 (Illus.)

  • Ada Garfinkel, “Art Reviews: A Microscopic View of Living Forms,” Independent Journal, February 1979 (Illus.)



  • Marin County Women’s Hall of Fame, nominated by Judith Selby, Marin County, 1995, 1996

  • Eureka Fellowship, Nominated by Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator, Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA Jan 1993

  • MacArthur Fellowship, Nominated by George Leonard, author, Mill Valley, CA -January 1982



  • The Face of AIDS,” with Barbara Swift Brauer, John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA - November 1997

  • “Triple Decker Collaboration,” with Judith Selby and Barbara Swift Brauer, Sight & Insight Gallery, Mill Valley, CA - Sept 1997

  • “The Face of AIDS,” with Barbara Swift Brauer, Duke University Museum of Art, Durham, NC - November 1996

  • Witness: The Artists Vision in “The Face of AIDS,” with Barbara Swift Brauer, Slide Lecture and Book Signing

  • Arts and Healing Network, Sausalito, CA - December 1996

  • Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA - December 1996

  • Capitola Books, Capitola, CA - November 1996

  • A Different Light Bookstore, San Francisco, CA - October 1996

  • Oliver’s Books, San Anselmo, CA - October 1996

  • “The Face of AIDS,” for “Expanding the Focus of Health Care,” Annual Conference, Society for the Arts in Health Care, Marin General Hospital,Greenbrae, CA - October 1994

  • “Face of AIDS and the Portrait Artist” - Florence Gould Theater at California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA - April 20, 1991

  • “Face of AIDS and Elderly Portraits,” with Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, for physicians, Kaiser Hospital, Hayward, CA - April 11, 1991

  • “Art for AIDS,” Seminar Group Slide Lecture, Theatre Artaud, San Francisco, CA - February 10, 1990

  • “Seminar: The Art Spirit,” Slide Lecture, U.C. Santa Cruz at Palo Alto, CA - July 21, 1989

  • Lecture Slide Show of Recent Work, The Art Institute, San Francisco, CA – April 1989

  • Lister Hill Department of Education, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD - 1983-1984

  • Artist in Residence Program: Art For Teaching Staff, Loma Verde School, Novato, CA - 1982

  • Fairfax School District - Fairfax, CA - 1982

  • “Youth in Arts” Marin County Schools - Terra Linda, CA - 1982

  • Teacher Learning Center, Marin County Schools - Terra Linda, CA - 1982

  • “Professional Training Program,” Marin County Schools, Corte Madera, CA - 1966



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