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‘I’ll be the crazy lady in the art gallery,’ Rockton artist lives her dream by creating and connecting in her own art gallery

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ROCKTON (WREX) — A Rockton artist hopes to paint in her studio and gallery for the rest of her life. It's not because she's selling her work there. It's because of the connections she makes along the way.

An artist can find inspiration in new places but Jill Martin-Golden of Rockton finds her's in the people that surround her.

What was once a distant dream became a reality for Golden.

"I was telling my kids, 'someday that shop is going to be my gallery," said Golden.

The artist purchased the oldest commercial building in downtown Rockton in 2017 and opened JR Finally Art Studio and Gallery. Its name is exactly what it sounds like. Golden took a leap to finally pursue her passion of art.

"Art can relax us and bring us to a point where we can connect to each other, where we can express ourselves, where we can go into ourselves even and express things. But for me it's kind of a community thing too," said Golden.

That's why Golden likes it when friends and neighbors stop by to share and enjoy in not only her art but the creations of more than 20 others.

"We also have ceramics by people like Delores Burkholder and she is a Rockton artist," said Golden when giving 13 WREX a tour of her gallery. "We have everything from pottery, woodworking, we have some fabric things, we have paintings."

Golden says art does more than pay the bills. She says many of her customers who have family or personal struggles find healing when creating and viewing art.

"But to give, be able to give to the community," said Golden.

She hopes more people will find inspiration just like she does when looking at the work of students.

"The youth gives us this, 'oh I don't have to stay in the lines or you mixed this color with that, what.' So I learn things from people all the time," said Golden.

Golden offers different styles of art to the community at her shop and she gains new ideas from them to make more creations.

"I'm hoping that I can do this for the rest of my life, be an old lady in my wheel chair. I'll be the crazy lady in the art gallery and surround myself with people, stay connected to people always and do the things that I love," said Golden.

Golden hopes to expand the gallery's footprint in the future by adding classrooms in the back for people to create and connect together.

Click here to learn more about Golden and find out when Rockton's first ever Pelican Fest hosted by JR Finally Art Studio and Gallery will be on Saturday, May 22.

Golden says it's a festival to celebrate the nature and wildlife in the region and kick-off the summer months. There will be food, educational booths, painting, a student art show and more.

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Cassandra Bretl

Cassandra is the morning reporter for 13 News Today.
She joined the WREX team in July of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a major, minor and a certificate.
She is excited to bring her skills back to the 815 where she is originally from.
You can contact Cassandra at

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