CHAMPAIGN — A bit over a year after beloved Champaign artist Jamie Kruidenier died, her friends and students are coming together to exhibit their works in her honor.
Called Water + Color, the exhibit will feature water medium works of 13 artists united by their gratitude and affection for Mrs. Kruidenier, who died July 11, 2018, at age 63 from early Alzheimer’s disease.
The exhibit will open Wednesday at Artists’ Alley at the McKinley Foundation and Presby Hall, 405 E. John St., C, and include one of Mrs. Kruidenier’s works.
Mrs. Kruidenier was a longtime educator who taught at Parkland College. Her paintings, drawings and sculptures have been displayed across the country.
One of her many friends and students, Barbara England of Urbana, said her first encounter with Mrs. Kruidenier was in a class she took with artist Don Lake at Parkland College, who showed some of Mrs. Kruidenier’s works as examples of how to do things right.
After Mrs. Kruidenier took over Lake’s classes at Parkland when he retired, England became one of her students.
“Oh, she was a wonderful teacher,” England said. “She was so kind, and she had this fabulous way of looking at a painting and seeing how you could improve it.”
Not only that, England said, “her artwork was just beautiful.”
Mrs. Kruidenier taught her much about the use of color and light in watercolor works, England said.
“She encouraged me to find my own style, and continue even when it was frustrating,” she said.
Lake, of Mahomet, said Mrs. Kruidenier studied with him for about 25 years and was a hard-working and excellent student.
She was also a very generous person — someone who always said yes when help was needed and the last person who would ever claim credit for anything, he said.
While Mrs. Kruidenier had an undergraduate degree from the UI, Lake said it was probably a result…