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Making Connection to Creativity


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Abstract Impressionist artist Jackson Pollock once observed, “Every good artist paints what he or she is.” Local artist Jacqueline Roliardi can identify with this statement, reflecting on her own body of work that has gained widespread popularity and acclaim. Jackie views art as an expression of what forms are pushing forth from the interior life of the artist.

Jackie grew up on the east coast in upstate New York and Connecticut, influenced by the glowing fall colors, soothing shades of summer, and the ever-brilliant palette of spring flowering hues. All are influences that expose themselves in her sweeping canvases today. Jackie’s Italian family genes gave her a natural propensity for flamboyant expression, love of music, and an ability to dance the night away. She loved drawing, doodling, writing, and performing. Both her parents nurtured the creative spirit in all their children, but Jackie remembers it was her mother who introduced her to her first professional ballet performance, years of dance classes, as well as a love of literature and poetry. The family moved a number of times during Jackie’s formative years. She remembers her creative endeavors as the grounding principles through a number of changes and readjustments, her “go to” place providing balance and consistency.

Jackie and her husband Bob currently live in Scottsdale, where they are both inspired by the beautiful landscape and colors of the Sonoran Desert. Jackie describes her studio today as a place she goes to create, relax, and get in touch with the energies that are requesting expression on canvas. She credits her formal education, a B.A. in English and Education and a Masters in Education, as creating a solid foundation for her expansive and expressive life interests. A lifelong learner herself, Jackie spent several years as an elementary school teacher, where her philosophy on teaching was “to discover how each child learned best, and create that learning environment for them, so that they experience success and be inspired to develop a love for learning.”

Moving from teaching into the field of Educational Publishing was a natural transition and application for her skill set that eventually lead her to join Apple Computer’s Education Group. At Apple, her focus was to promote the vision of how technology could positively affect learning environments. Drawing on her earlier teaching skills, Jackie traveled the country conducting staff development for educators and promoting Apple’s vision with the “Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow Program.” Jackie knew all too well the doors of opportunity such a program could open for children with learning challenges, as well as supporting all students in their quest to become lifelong learners.

As they say, “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” Jackie took her constantly moving imagination and ‘system structure’ talents right from Apple into her next career as a fine art artist. She credits all her accomplished instructors with their mentoring for a tremendous impact on her work today. Recently, Jackie’s attention has turned to the Abstract Expressionist Movement popular in the 1940s and 1950s in New York. A selection of this newest work is on view at On The Edge Gallery on Scottsdale’s Fifth Avenue. Jackie also serves on the Board of Directors of this innovative and inclusive artist owned gallery.

To view a larger selection of Jackie’s paintings or to connect with her at an On The Edge Gallery reception, visit for a schedule. Jackie will be one of the Featured Artists at On The Edge Gallery for the Scottsdale Gallery Association’s Golden Palette Video Artwalk on April 7, 2016, from 6:30-9:30 pm. After all, Steve Jobs reflected, “Creativity is just connecting things.” This is a connection you won’t want to miss.

Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield at