How far Jeanine Hill-Soldner has come in the past eight years can be seen on the walls at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park.
The Algonquin artist was the first to fill the newly created Sage Gallery at Lakeside more than eight years ago with her first major exhibition. She soon became a resident artist at Lakeside, and over the years, she has created several large bodies of work, including a "Portraits of American Veterans Project."
Her latest exhibit, "8 Years Beyond the Studio, Solo Retrospective," will showcase her art through the years in chronological order. Running Friday through Feb. 28 as part of Lakeside's First Friday art show, the exhibit begins with an artist reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Arts Park, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake.
As part of the show, Hill-Soldner also is curating "Fringes," a partnering exhibit created by the Women's Caucus for Art in Chicago, of which Hill-Soldner is a board member.
The exhibits represent the start of the 2014 gallery season for Lakeside.
And they've taken Hill-Soldner back to her start.
"It's been interesting to look back through my work to see what I've done in the past to what I'm doing now," she said.
"[Lakeside] is a big part of how I got to where I am now," she said. "I think my work has really matured over the years."
Beginning with Hill-Soldner's first major exhibit, "Memories of an Era, Reflections of Our Time" she's gained attention, including a visit from a PBS film crew. An Artist's Profile based on that exhibit first aired on PBS in July 2007 and continued to be featured around the country the next few years.
The paintings were based on family snapshots and photographs taken by her father, who served in the Vietnam War.
In 2007, she completed "Pilgrimage and Passages," the paintings of which have been exhibited through the Chicago are.
And she continues work on her "Portraits of American Veterans Project," planning to start her 24th portrait in March. Her 25th and final portrait will be of her late father. She expects to work on that this summer.
"That's the body of work that I'm so very proud of," she said. "It brought together so much about my background and history and tied it together with the background and history of so many other people in the community.
"I found so many things everyone has in common."
The upcoming exhibit also will feature painting from her "Chicago Scenes" gallery, including her interpretations of Crown Fountain in the summer, one of her favorite places.