Jill Irving has had extensive experience in the art world. After graduating SUNY-Potsdam as an art teacher, she undertook further training at the Butera School of Art as a commercial artist with a specialty in sign painting, a profession she followed for many years.
Concurrently, she expanded her activities by accepting several side commissions in mural painting, faux finishing, and carousel restoration.
The most significant of these was painting most of the animals and decorative elements on New York’s official merry-go-round—the Empire State Carousel.
When the computer became popular and reduced the need for professional sign painters, she returned to the world of education, first as a program coordinator for Very Special Arts and then as the woodworking teacher at Portland Arts and Technology High School, a position she currently holds.