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I find joy in the act of creation, a certain bliss when the outcome answers a question, fulfills a need, results in a clear visual response to experience and imagination. Quiet scenes pulled from the flux of contemporary life are the starting point for me. Conventional notions of image making are searched for their underlying structures and geometries. The structure and function of our visual experience, of how we feel when we see, holds as much interest for me as how reality appears on the surface.

Space is an active entity. It can interrupt the integrity of form, setting objects into motion in the mind, evoking the dimension and feeling of time. Color, texture and changing light represent the the physical world as a place of transition. Time, space, place are fluid.

For me, art is alchemy. Art is transformation. It is a compelling occupation with precious rewards. Getting to the way I paint was an intuitive process; one intuitive step over a long period of time. I haven’t been searching for a style so much as a way to make sense of what I see, to experience and feel what I see. Here is that journey, unedited, pages from a diary of exploration.

The life and work of Elizabeth Monks Hack springs from a matrix of art, culture and the humanities. She is a painter, pianist, fashion designer, illustrator, cartoonist, art scholar and teacher of art. Yet it is in the art of oil painting that she finds her emotional home. It is the most reliable place where the self and its relation to the outside world, is found.

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Monks Hack moved to San Diego, California with her Anglo-Italian family, who left large families behind to seek warmer and newer climes. She attended the University of San Diego and graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in Studio Art, at a time when Conceptual Art and Minimalism dominated aesthetic discourse. Monks Hack has earned degrees from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Chapman College and CSU Dominquez Hills, where she completed graduate work in the Humanities.

Her education and experience represent the trajectory and variety of her art career. In Los Angeles Monks Hack worked in the fashion industry, both as a clothing manufacturer and an assistant designer, before relocating to the California central coast. Her career as an arts educator began there, where she worked for many years in the Lompoc Unified School District, Allan Hancock College and Brandman University, teaching art to students of all levels. Throughout her career in education she has maintained an exhibition schedule in several central coast art galleries.

Early travels to Europe, the Middle East, India and Nepal, and a year lived in Morocco fed the fires of her creativity as well as her broad interest in the humanities. She continues her global travels to witness first hand the vitalizing art and culture of the world’s peoples. Her career as an educator generated unexpected facets of her career. The teaching of global and ancient art history, along with her travels, led to the creation of a cartoon character named Compass Rose Voyager, featuring an adventurous art scholar who travels the world in pursuit of purloined antiquities. A series of graphic novels and a business, encompassing all her varied passions, evolved from this.

Monks Hack works in a light-filled attic studio in the same cottage where she and her husband Wyn raised their four sons. Monks Hack is currently focused on “Patchwork,” a series of oil paintings on pieced and sewn canvas.

Painter; oils: Contemporary Realism
Cartoonist: Compass Rose Voyager
Art Instructor: Allan Hancock College, Brandman University, Cabrillo High School, Lompoc Valley Middle School
Clothing and costume design; manufacturing
California State University Dominguez Hills, 2005: Masters of Arts in the Humanities/ Art
Chapman University, 1991: California Teaching Credentials, Clear Multiple Subject and Single Subject/Art
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, 1978
Certificate of Fashion Design
University of California at Irvine, 1975
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art
University of San Diego, 1971 – 1973
2019 “Elizabeth Monks Hack, Paintings” Longoria Winery
2019 “Small Town Abstractions” Grossman Gallery
2016 “Lompoc Abstractions” Discovery Gallery, D’Vine Wine Bar, Lompoc, CA
2009 “Small Town Abstractions” Faulkner Gallery West, Santa Barbara, CA
2009 “Abstract Thought – A Selection” Gallery 113, Santa Barbara, CA
2009 “Lompoc Abstractions” Centeno Gallery, Lompoc Museum
2008 “Abstract Thought” Cypress Gallery, Lompoc, CA
2008 “Abstract Thought” Casa Cassara Winery, Buellton, CA
2006 “Revisiting the Past” Grossman Gallery, Lompoc, CA
2003 “Small Town Abstractions” Grossman Gallery, Lompoc, CA
2000 “Abstract Thought” Southside Coffee Co., Lompoc, CA
1995 “Form and Space” Grossman Gallery, Lompoc, CA
1987 “Oil Paintings, Works on Paper” Lew Janowsky 51 Baycrest, Newport Beach, CA
1979 “Abstractions” Richard Harteis Rue Benzerte, Rabat, Morocco
2018 “Jalama: Highway to the Sea” Lompoc 10 Grossman Gallery, Lompoc, CA
2017 “Four Ways of Looking At It” Cabrillo Pavilion Art Center, Santa Barbara, CA
2015 “Variations” Lompoc 10 Grossman Gallery, Lompoc, CA
2011 “On Wall A - Elizabeth Monks Hack” Gallery 113, Santa Barbara. CA
2010 Faculty Show. Ann Foxworthy Gallery, Allan Hancock College, Santa Maria, CA
2009 Lompoc Valley Art Association Studio Tour, Lompoc, CA
2007 Faculty Show. Ann Foxworthy Gallery, Allan Hancock College, Santa Maria, CA
2007 “Small Town Abstractions” Gallery 113, Santa Barbara. CA
2006 – 2008 Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, Santa Barbara, CA
2004 “Ten Paintings” CalStrs Headquarters, Sacramento, CA
1994 – 2008 Cypress Gallery, Lompoc, CA
2nd Award Oils, Lompoc Valley Art Association Spring Show, 2012
2nd Award Oils, Lompoc Valley Art Association Spring Show, 2011
1st Award Oils, Lompoc Valley Art Association Fall Show, 2010
2nd Award Oils, Lompoc Valley Art Association Spring Show, 2009
2nd Award Oils, Lompoc Valley Art Association Spring Show, 2008
1st Award, Santa Barbara Art Association, Faulkner Gallery Show, May 2007
Honorable Mention, MA Humanities External Degree Thesis of the Year, CSUDH, 2006
2nd Award Oils, Lompoc Valley Art Association Spring Show, 2006
1st Award Oils, Lompoc Valley Art Association Spring Show, 1989
1st Place Oils, Lompoc Valley Art Association Spring Show, 1986
California Association of Art Educators (1995-present)
Lompoc Valley Art Association 1992 - present
Lompoc Valley Arts Council 1999 – present Secretary, curator
Santa Barbara Visual Arts (2001-2005)
Santa Barbara Art Association 1999 – present
Lompoc 10 2016 - present
Painter, Oils: Urban Landscape, Landscape, Large-scale Interiors, Still Life
2018 – present Art reporter, Cypress Gallery
2010 – present Cartoonist
2008 -2009 Humanities, Brandman University
2005 – 2010 Art Instructor, Allan Hancock College
2000-2007 Curator, “Best of the Best,” Lompoc Valley Arts Council
1991 – 2005 (Tenure 1995) Art Instructor, Lompoc Unified School District
1978 – 1979 Assistant Fashion Designer, “Jenny and Me” Los Angeles, CA
1975 – 1978 Managing Partner/Designer, “Rubin and Monks” Hollywood, CA