Past Exhibitions

BEAUTY January 22, 2016 - February 28, 2016

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday January 22, 2016  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery is excited to present its new season of programming beginning with beauty, a special group exhibition opening on Friday, January 22, 2016 with an artist reception from 6-10PM.

Beauty is often impossible to define because of the subjective nature of judgment and taste.  The idea of “beauty” once seemed synonymous with art, as it was art’s principle goal to be beautiful.  However, after Modernism, beauty became an even greater subject of dispute, contention, and conflict than it was before.  A politics of beauty was introduced—rival tastes ignited a controversy where the traditionalists prefer order and beauty, while the avant-garde prefers disorder and shock. 

Last year the gallery challenged artists to depict and critique the perception of beauty in a contemporary context; this exhibition is the culmination of their response. There was an overwhelming reply and the exhibit could have taken many directions.  But most surprisingly, the vast majority of submissions depicted a classical tale of beauty that relied upon traditional references to myth and archetype.    

At this point it was evident that a trip was needed to James Mesplé’s studio: a modern day master at incorporating mythology into contemporary art. Born in the Missouri Ozarks, 1948, Mesple developed an interest in classical mythology during summers spent with his half-Osage grandfather, who shared with him many Native American tales of nature and animals.  The common theme of the battle between good and evil, the “battle of the Cosmos,” inspires many of Mesple’s paintings.  His work captures the spirit of Prometheus who, throughout history, has symbolized unyielding strength that resists oppression, and it reflects man’s quest to obtain spiritual enlightenment and creative freedom. 

Mesplé’s sets the tone of the exhibition with his luminous narrative paintings.  Employing a mixed technique of oil and egg tempera, his work evokes classical myth and imagery with contemporary flair.  Beauty has never been absolute and it has taken on different aspects depending on the historical period. However, Mesplé’s work alludes to the Golden Age of Greek art, when beauty was associated with values of moderation, harmony, and symmetry.  Just like a myth, his narratives offer guidance by telling tales of the obsession of beauty, the price of beauty, or even the attack on beauty.

Other artists follow suit by utilizing the long tradition of painting and story telling. Bruce Adams reinterprets the love goddess as a powerful force in the robust Mighty Aphrodite. A golden apple hangs suspended above her head, a warning of the discord that beauty can inflict. However, the artist’s model is a real person posing as the mythical figure.  In dressing, undressing, and posing, the subject expresses a veiled aspect of herself and personality.

Lilla Dent explores beauty through a lens of objectification and femininity. The surrealistic concubine portrayed in Maguro asks us to question the aesthetic norms and expectations the women face in our culture.  By reducing a female figure, already symbolic of prized beauty to her lower half with the addition of a beast’s head, the “maidmer,” or backwards mermaid, provokes reflection on the sexual objectification of women in general.  Her work Tlazoteotl, portrays the multifaceted Aztec goddess of fertility, filth (sin and lust) and purification.  By depicting the goddess in a ball gown—an object traditionally designed to makes its wearer as beautiful as possible—made of various kinds of fungi, Dent explores the dual nature of femininity while challenging the traditional definition of “beauty” itself.  The Aztecs recognized that the cycles of rot, death and subsequent rebirth have their unique splendor, which is contrasted by our modern societies infatuation with anti-aging and overly perfect ideals to the point of sterilization.

beauty runs January 22, 2016 – February 28, 2016 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Director Scott Renfro and artist Laura Junge.

FEATURED ARTISTS: James Mesplé, Robert Tolchin, Bruce Adams, Raymond Thornton, Amalia Kouvalis, Lilla Dent, Stephanie Karamitsos, Kevin Connaughton, Léon 47, Francine Gourguechon



BODYSCAPES June 9 - 25, 2017

OPENING RECEPTION:    Friday June 9, 2017  6-9PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery is honored to present its next programming, BODYSCAPES, featuring in-house artist, Allan Teger.  The exhibition showcases a series of photographs that feature the human form as landscape. The exhibition opens with an artist reception on Friday, June 9, 2017 6pm-9pm and runs through June 25, 2017.

BODYSCAPES presents, Allan Teger, a self-taught photographer out of Vero Beach, Florida. Teger’s work evolved from his study of Psychology.  Teger reflects, “I remember the moment that the idea for Bodyscapes came to me. I was thinking that the shape and structure of the universe repeated itself at every level and suddenly I had the image in my mind of a skier going down a breast. This was it - the universe repeating its shapes - a body looking like a mountain. It was also an example of two realities coexisting. The picture could be seen as a landscape and it could also be seen as a body. Although they were different, both perceptions were right at the same time. I knew instantly that I had an entire series of images waiting to be captured on film”.

Teger prefers to create his Bodyscapes traditionally. He places all of the miniature characters on the body and shoots everything the way you see it in the photograph. He does not like to use Photoshop or any digital or “dark room tricks” as he calls them. Teger loves to see the viewer’s reaction to his pieces. He finds it interesting to watch the viewer’s reaction and realization once they realize the landscape is the human form.

 BODYSCAPES runs June 9, 2017 – June 25, 2017 and is curated by gallery directors Chris Jackson & Laura Junge, and Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.




EXCERPTS FROM A FADING BLOOM September 11, 2015 - November 1, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday Sept. 11, 2015  6-10PM

Excerpts from a Fading Bloom is a solo exhibition by local Chicago sculptor, Jason Hawk.  The exhibition opens to the public with an artist’s reception on Friday, September 11th from 6-10PM.

Excerpts from a Fading Bloom is a collection of work by Jason Hawk that examines the developing layers of our society.  The sculptural landscapes he creates expose a layered civilization, an evolving cultural dialog built upon once powerful objects that are abandoned for the next glittering status symbol. Hawk finds beauty in the crumbling ruins that were once deemed the pinnacle of our society—museums, nightclubs and shopping malls all fractured and decayed, defaced by bad graffiti—a cultural battleground where ideas and movements wrestle for dominance.

Jason Hawk explains, “In all of my work there are captured moments of allegory and cultural discourse.  The work is almost always wrapped in the shell of beauty that’s hiding some sickening inevitability or truth. Like a milk dud: candy on the outside, poison on the inside.”

Excerpts from a Fading Bloom is a selection of work from multiple series that reveal elements of a greater cultural narrative. The “Blackout” series utilizes the foundations of art history with signifiers of decadence and status to remix a new semblance of meaning.  The “blackout” application strips these emblems of their pretension and pomp, allowing the viewer to look at the work objectively. Hawk further engages a dialogue on class and status by departing from his repertoire of chrome and bronze finishes in favor of mundane materials such as plastic and foam.  Similarly, the “Junk Piles” series is formed with discarded parts of culture that creates a caricature of the disposable nature of our collective behavior.  The sculptures are formed with a rotational casting technique found in mass produced plastic goods that reinforces the blind folly of our society.

However, Hawk believes that the “Fabricated Landscapes” series is his most important to date because it’s where he initially discovered his conceptual voice. The “Fabricated Landscapes” combine simplified forms with elements of allegory and archetypal themes to create a foundation for personal narrative. Wrapped in layers of hidden meaning, these sculptures function as definitive statements while providing clues for the viewer to formulate a narrative of their own. “Fabricated Landscapes” are self-referential sculptural snapshots of the cultural zeitgeist.  They play on the dichotomy of opposites and are heavily wrapped up in the American Dream and where it may have gone wrong.

Excerpts from a Fading Bloom runs September 11 – November 1 and is curated by Assistant Director Scott Renfro.

Jason Hawk is a Chicago based sculptor who was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. After years spent working in paint and intaglio printing, he enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Early in his pursuit of a BFA, he found that he had an affinity for sculptural metal work and devoted his studies to gaining technical proficiency. In 2010, Hawk and a few colleagues started Red Gate Studios, an artist’s collective and fabrication space in the heart of Logan Square. Jason Hawk has shown extensively throughout Chicago and the Mid-West, in such venues as Art Chicago, Expo Chicago, The Contemporary Art Center of Peoria and the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh. Hawk has also shown in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Colorado and has work in the permanent collections of the Anderson Center for the Arts, the Peoria Public Library and the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.  



IN THE CORNER OF A ROUND ROOM September 23 - October 30, 2016

The Jackson Junge Gallery is excited to present In the Corner of a Round Room – an exhibition that discards rationality for a surrealist landscape of cloaked figures, pickled punks and other reminiscences found deep within our imagination.  The group exhibition opens Friday, September 23 from 6-10PM with a storied fête of outlandish proportion that leads you through a tale of dark hallways in this sideshow wonderland. The evening will also feature a performance by artist CV Peterson titled Mykitas Epoch from 7-9PM.

RSVP: September 23 6-10PM

 In the Corner of a Round Room is inspired by the historical traditions of freak shows and exhibitions dating back to the reign of Elizabeth I in the 16th century.  The Jackson Junge Gallery invited a group of artists, working in a variety of media, to explore the novelty acts and folklore that captured the attention of the general public and royalty alike.  Pivoted on a surrealist landscape, the collection of work assembled is a menagerie of common motifs and symbols that are quintessential to the surrealist movement from portals and birds, to the grotesque, death, and legend.  

The Jackson Junge Gallery is also proud to incorporate new works by artist L. Lee Junge alongside the debut of new gallery artists, Kate Harrold and Jason Brueck.  Junge returns with three new figurative works including Mind Games, which is an exploration of her mind’s proclivities during a journey plagued by crippling pain and uncertainty that could have ended her painting career. “Mind Games is a reflection of what I learned while dealing with a pain disorder that is caused by tension in the mind.  Our minds are constantly creating thoughts that are not exactly truthful.  I could grab onto that thought and let it carry me on a downward spiral, or I could recognize it as merely a thought and replace it with positive thinking.  When intense pain flared I could think how scary it was, how much it hurt, when it was going to end or I could ask myself what it was that I was feeling (usually fear) and then replace those thoughts with notions like this pain will go away and I will be ok. Mind Games portrays the powerful tool our mind is and how we create the person we are today. What the mind believes the body does truly achieve.”

In the Corner of a Round Room introduces collectors to artists Kate Harrold and Jason Brueck. Harrold photographs each element of the image that she creates (occasionally borrowing pieces from found photographs) and then digitally manipulates and merges them together to create new and unlikely stories. She is often inspired by a building, character, or single detail and enjoys the challenges of removing that element from its environment and creating a whole new space and story around it. Brueck says that he enjoys the confusion between imagination, manipulation, and reality. He draws inspiration from images past and present, light and dark, sometimes combining the two in hopes of creating an imperfect symmetry. Brueck explains, “My goal is to take the seemingly unimaginable and make it a visual reality by blurring the lines between the real and surreal, creating a story where final interpretation is open to multiple realizations. There are a number of different paths in my work… which one is ultimately chosen is left for you to decide.” 

In the Corner of a Round Room runs September 23, 2016 – October 30, 2016 and is curated by gallery director Chris Jackson, assistant director Scott Renfro, and artist L. Lee Junge.

FEATURED ARTISTS: L. Lee Junge, Wayne Bertola, Sharon Bladholm, Jason Brueck, Nikole Cooney, Dimitre, Kate Harrold, Karl Jahnke, Amalia Kouvalis, Richard Laurent, Joan McLane, Daniela Ovtcharov, Vladimir Ovtcharov, Sasha K. Perez, CV Peterson, Jeff Sadowski, Miguel Tio, Kurt Brian Webb


INSANITY Sept. 29 - Oct. 29, 2017

OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY SEPT. 29, 2017  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents, INSANITY a special group exhibition opening on Friday, September 29, 2017 with an artist reception from 6-10pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

Insanity has many different definitions. For some, it is depicting mental illness.  For others, it could be a euphoric reaction or even an expression of a current political situation. To Einstein, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. No matter the definition, to be insane is different for every human. 

INSANITY is a collection of artworks that depict the senselessness we experience in our world today.  Jackson Junge Gallery has curated 34 works from Chicago based artists, that explore different definitions and aspects of absurdity. Artist were asked to submit artwork that is an expression of their experience within this theme.  Creative minds have clever ways of transforming human emotion into visual expression. Also, in times of strive and discomfort, the most influential art is created to bring awareness. In the eyes of many, our world is at a tipping point, and, some believe, turning the most rational people to insane. This exhibition is an interpretation of how our society is shifting.

Laura Lee Junge – “Gilbert Herman the 2nd, King of Insanity”

“Gilbert Herman the 2nd, King of Insanity” is inspired by Laura’s father, Gilbert, who lost his sanity in the later years of his life. After moving his family from their home in Minneapolis to the Bible belt in Oklahoma, Junge’s family started to realize the subtle traits of mental illness. This painting depicts his progression.  Junge states, “The faces coming out of the background are the voices inside his head. He was a schizophrenic. His heart, which my mom always had a part of, is depicted as an apple, her favorite fruit.”  Junge was only a resent graduate of the School of the Art Institute when this painting was created. She was still in the process of developing her style. Instead of letting the history of her father consume her, she embraced the surrealist part of her father’s mind and captured it in this painting. Since then, Junge has continued her exploration of contemporary surrealism.

Lorca Jolene – “Siren”  

For Jolene, collaging is art therapy. Jolene compares her work to a jigsaw puzzle and takes comfort in the knowledge that she does not know what the final image will be. This series of collages explores two themes that have defined her experiences as a mentally ill person, she says, “The first is liminality - the quality of ambivalence that occurs in a state of mind where stable boundaries between dream and reality, delusion and deduction, within and without are de-familiarized. My collage characters' bodies are suspended between a myriad of materials and forms - between flesh and tech, male and female, human and animal - and each one is deeply influenced by my own experiences of claiming and communicating ambiguous spaces in the context of gender, sanity, affect, and body image. The second is amalgamation. Psychotic symptoms have the effect of fusing and synthesizing senses and thoughts into perceptions of self, body, and world that do not adhere to conventional notions of logic, consistency, and congruity.”

Richard Laurent – “Potus”

“Potus” is derived from an ongoing project Laurent has been working on since March of 2016. He says, “It is a chronicle in political cartoon form of Donald Trump's rise to the Presidency. I think this 'gesture' is self-explanatory.” Inanity in this instance is knowing that the President of the United States is a man who has no idea what being a president entails.

Jeff Sadowski – “Revenge of the Face Food”

The maddening circumstances in this painting is absurd. You would think that the main focus of this painting is that food has come to life to kill someone and that would be insane enough. Originally the artist’s thought was," Why do we put cute happy faces on food to promote the consumption of that said food? Irrational maybe, but I would like to put this piece in the ‘Mental Illness’ category.” Sadowski put the newspaper in the painting from the day that John Hinckley Jr. tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. John Hinckley Jr. has been considered as mentally ill and is an accurate representation of a cracked egg, and, in turn, conveys the frailty of the human mind.


INSANITY runs September 29th – October 29th and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Laura Junge, and Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.



OPPOSITIONS March 31 - April 30, 2017

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday March 31, 2017  6-9PM

In this time of global, economic and political tensions, society has found a congruent culture that celebrates their civic duty. Where do artists fit? The work for many artists is an extension of their voice and a language, which is displayed publicly. Can art have a physical voice, representational expressions of opinion, or should it be art- for art’s sake?

The past year has been a whirlwind of emotions for the American people. Whatever side, the past national election has sparked an interest in all of the major issues our society has been battling throughout our country’s history. Issues ranging from the protection of our natural resources, border security and HealthCare affect us all. These “hot” topics provoke passionate feelings and drive people to express themselves.     

Oppositions is a commentary on the topics that have dominated the current headlines. Jackson Junge Gallery has curated an exhibition, featuring 40 works in several different mediums, from artists all around the United States.  Art has always been a way for artists to express their stance on the subjects our world is dealing with. Art is culture. Art inspires the people. Art is communicative. 

Artist Luna Rail has created a mixed media piece, titled “For the Prettiest One”. It is inspired from the Greek myth of Discordia, the goddess of discord and confusion.  The artwork is representing an aristocratic setting, where the faces of the people have taken on the wildness of the beasts within. Perhaps, the myth isn’t such a myth, but, our new reality. Rail says, “On January 20th, much of America undoubtedly gave into those imaginary beasts and has taken the rest of us along for the ride. Most come off, I think, with an expression of aggression and absurdity which seems apt for our current political and social climate”.         

“True Colors”, by Eoin Cullen, depicts an exposed African American woman.  She highlights the significance of the afro, which is in reference to the civil rights movement and today’s racial tensions.  Cullen says, “In the 60’s, black women were sympatric and involved with the civil rights movement and felt that un-straightened hair, like the afro, expressed their feeling of racial pride.” In Evan Haase piece, “Old Glory”, the artist comments on the constitutional second amendment, which grants the right to bear arms. The piece is made up of 15,085 spent bullet shells. Haase states, “Either on neighboring streets, in homes, or even in schools, we consistently hear of someone staring down the barrel of a gun and taking lives”.       

Oppositions is an exhibit celebrating the voice of the artist.  This exhibition is not only an opportunity for these artists to express their emotional state, but to inform the public of issues that one may not know about or have chosen to ignore. 



RESCUED MOMENTS June 5 - June 28, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday June 5, 2015  6-10PM

RESCUED MOMENTS, a solo-exhibition of new mixed media sculptural art by Chicago-based artist Pedro Igrez, will be on view at the Jackson Junge Gallery from June 5 – June 28, 2015.

Pedro Igrez discovers artistry and beauty in raw materials within reach. Images emerge in the stain of wine and coffee, or the grit and texture of concrete. He utilizes discarded materials ranging from antique barn pulleys to rusted metal, rope and construction materials to deconstruct imagery that remains connected to his surroundings. 

RESCUED MOMENTS is a collection of work that recoups fading memories before they depart to an unreachable place.  Igrez remarks that “they come to me in flashes, like images from a short silent film, as if the words do not exist and only the visual matters. They are images of my nostalgia, fleeting both fast and slow, moving and still.  Some stay longer, but all are marching in strange synchronicity toward deep, dark chambers of lost memories.”  These moments are given shape, color, and texture that preserves them in abstracted form, safekeeping them from time.

Pedro Igrez is a self-taught artist who has created artwork since his youth.  Igrez was born in Mexico under the name Pedro Gutierrez, and has been living in the U.S. since 2000.  The artist has adopted the last name Igrez to distinguish his identity.

RESCUED MOMENTS runs June – June 28 and is curated by Assistant Gallery Director Scott Renfro.



A MODERN BESTIARY May 12 - June 25, 2017

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday May 12  6-9PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery is honored to present its next programming, A MODERN BESTIARY, featuring in-house artists – Tai Taeoalii, George Keaton, and Ennis Martin.  The exhibition will showcase a series of modern “beasts” in the forms of primates, hybrid sci-fi creatures, and the commentary of an artist’s perspective within an animal focal point. The exhibition opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, May 12, 2017 6pm-9pm and runs through June 25, 2017.

Chicago local, George Keaton who recently celebrated a solo exhibition at the Jackson Junge Gallery, is a self-taught painter. Confident in his subject matter, Keaton still strives to find his artist voice. When asked if there was a particular piece in his current series that stood out for him the most, his reply, “I started a sketch of this baboon piece the day of my son’s birth. I’m waiting for this little guy to be introduced to the world and found myself sketching. I’ve been slowly working on the painting and find the colors to be intense with this physical expression to be commanding- strong, bold.” As of late his focus has been to capture the eyes of his primate subjects. In doing this he hopes to capture the gaze of his viewers. “You could say my work is connected to moments in my life.” Perhaps if eyes are truly windows to the soul, viewers will get a glimpse of the artist himself.

Ennis Martin has created a world through a series that is filled with sci-fi, hybrid mechanical creatures. His childhood was filled with inspiring illustrations that he found in comics.  The artistry and story-telling that he found in comic books poured over to an appreciation for art and the desire to have a hand in it himself. For a time, he dabbled in graffiti and took a few courses at the International Academy of Art in Chicago, where he settled into a style and story that permeates throughout his current artwork. Martin identifies his expression in art as primarily self-taught and continues to devote himself to perfecting his craft in his Chicago home and studio. He envisions an existing purpose for many of his creations in a bio-mechanical representation of an alternative humankind, varying from mechanical teddy bears, owls, and floating whales. Using traditional techniques in a contemporary subject matter, his artwork can be viewed as studies that are ominous & innocent.

Fueled by music and the nostalgic memories of his turbulent teenage years, artist Tai Taeoalii, utilizes self-taught techniques, cultivated from urban doctrines, in an effort to create art that evokes an honest and emotional experience. Known for his ball-point pen work, Taeoalii unveils surreal creatures that are a consequence from an autonomous method of creating and is socially and politically commenting. He describes that the making of his work comes from a real place, “it’s rough, it’s definite, free as possible, not always coherent- but is always sincere.” Though Taeoalii’s work is filled with symbolic imagery, he notes that he never consciously approaches a drawing with the intent of forcing any beliefs or opinions on viewers. “My creative process spawns from an organic and authentic subconscious journey and my creations manifest more by virtue of my own self-evaluation and less of propagating my ideology.”

A Modern Bestiary runs May 12, 2017 – June 25, 2017 and is curated by gallery directors Chris Jackson & Laura Junge, and Gallery Assistant Sasha Perez.



BAGGAGE CLAIM May 5, 2016 - May 29, 2016

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, May 5, 2016  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery opens a solo exhibition by popular Chicago artist, Anastasia Mak, titled Baggage Claim on May 5, 2016, and runs through May 29, 2016.   Baggage Claim is a collection of work chronicling Mak’s travels to iconic cities and hidden sanctuaries around the world.  Depicting scenes from Paris to Budapest—then bringing you back to Chicago—Baggage Claim takes the viewer on a journey across the globe without ever leaving Wicker Park.  The exhibition opens with an artist’s reception on Thursday, May 5, 2016 from 6PM-9PM.

Anastasia Mak is “a bit obsessed” with discovering new cities and captures these experiences in her signature style. Mak’s paintings develop from sketches and ideas she captures while traveling and exploring.  The main subject matter is world cities and towns, with a contemporary approach. Her canvases are spiced with geometric and whimsical elements, saturated with color and texture, often appearing in motion.  Working primarily in acrylic and mixed media collage, bright color and high contrast breathes energy into the work.  The abstracted shapes reflect the mood and energy of each location she paints and creates radiant effects as her cityscapes interact with the sky.

Anastasia Mak (Makarenko) was born in the Ukraine and moved to the U.S. at the age of 14.  Mak acquired her art training at a Ukrainian arts preparatory school, which she attended between the ages of 6 and 14, before moving to the U.S. by herself as an exchange student.  Later she studied in Italy, and then settled in Chicago.  Mak’s international experiences provided her with early appreciation for cultural diversity; now she constantly strives to expand her knowledge of the world through travel. 

BAGGAGE CLAIM runs May 5, 2016 - May 29, 2016 and is curated by gallery director Chris Jackson and assistant gallery director Scott Renfro.



POWER, POLITICS AND PAVEMENT September 18, 2015 - November 1, 2015

Brian Morgan

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday September 18, 2015  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery proudly presents Power, Politics, and Pavement, an exhibition by local Chicago artist, Brian Morgan that reveals Chicago’s history through portraiture. The exhibition opens to the public with an artist’s reception on Friday, September 18th from 6-10PM.

From its early days when powerful politicians and wealthy landowners surveyed a swamp to lay out a grid on roughly one-square mile, Chicago has grown to encompass diverse neighborhoods and deep cultural heritage. We are a city with a population of more than three million people who walk, bike, drive and bus on over 3,600 miles of streets. Every day we traverse upon those immortal pioneers of business and fortune from centuries ago, who built this city and left their names to forever remind us of their legacies. For most of us, we have no idea who they are.

“Gallery Director Chris Jackson approached me with an idea to highlight Chicago’s history in portraits. I accepted the challenge by choosing to uncover and reveal some of the more well-traveled and popular streets whose namesakes may or may not be remembered. While working on this project, my wife, Marianne Mather Morgan, was also working on her own bit of Chicago history. As a photo editor at the Chicago Tribune, she uncovers and researches historical Chicago photographs. A collaboration was born.”

Roads were usually named for where they led. However, when the developers of Chicago created their map of this soon-to-be metropolis they threw that practicality aside and named the streets after themselves, their friends, the politicians whom they owed favors, the women they adored, and the investors who made the city possible.

In these eight portraits you will find early settlers, doctors, fur traders, politicians and wealthy real estate men. What you won’t find are women and minorities. The few women who have been immortalized on a street sign, most often were the daughters or wives of the powerful and had very little information left about their lives. The one exception to this exclusion of minorities is Black Hawk, whose tribal land is now called Chicago.

Power, Politics, and Pavement runs September 18 – November 1 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson and Assistant Director Scott Renfro.

Brian Morgan lives in Chicago’s west-side neighborhood of Humboldt Park, where he creates rough and humorous images of life and politics in America.  His work discusses the economic divide between the rich and the poor, heavily draped in humorous satire. Morgan ventures beyond politics by delving into the maniacally diverse society of cyclists in the city of Chicago.  Blending india ink, thin monochromatic oils, and dramatic splashes of vinyl paint on wood panels, his signature style creates a motley cast of characters. From bike messengers, street vendors and fast flying track racers, to fat cat politicians, these paintings present the energy and love of a big city and a simple machine.



TRES March 4, 2016 - May 1, 2016

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday March 4, 2016  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery is honored to present its next exhibition, TRES, which explores Latino identity through three unique voices. TRES unites Latino artists - Carlos Barberena, Rolando Cruz, and Pedro Igrez - each working in distinctively different mediums, igniting a dialogue that is both personal and universal. The exhibition opens with an artists' reception on Friday, March 4, from 6-10PM and runs through May 1, 2016.

Too easily we forget to realize that no matter our culture we experience moments of fear and hope, self-doubt and community. On the surface, TRES is the story of three individuals' experiences. However, it is also the story of perseverance and self-discovery that reflects not only each artists' Latino identity, but also communicates a universal bond often shrouded by prejudices and societal stigmas.

Nicaraguan born artist, Carlos Barberena, is a self-taught printmaker based in Chicago.  Barberena's work is shown extensively in cultural centers around the world, sharing his experience to different societies (many of whom can relate with a similar history). TRES presents new works alongside a selection of linocuts from his Años de Miedo (Years of Fear) portfolio.  "Años de Miedo is in homage to the victims of war, based on my memories and the collective historical memory of my country (Nicaragua) in the decades of the 70s and 80s. But, at the same time, this does not mean that it is limited geographically, because it is the reality in many countries at present. This portfolio is presented as a manner of reflection about war and its effects, and how these memories and fears affect our lives not only physically but also in psychological terms." The Años de Miedo series has a visual simplicity with compositions reduced to black and white lines. But the minimalism, employed in such pieces as Los Inocentes, only intensifies the anguish and pain that is portrayed.

In more recent works, Barberena demonstrates his technical skill and printmaking prowess with intricate precision. Tonantzin depicts the cultural icon and goddess representing Mother Earth, flanked by honeycombs and flowers.

Rolando Cruz is a conceptual photographer who focuses on identity in the 21st century. His work opens dialogues about social, cultural, and environmental issues, inspiring people to find a personal connection in our differences.

Cruz describes his work as a reflection of reality.  After moving to the United States from Mexico for educational opportunities, he faced challenges integrating into a new culture and coming to terms with his sexuality. "It's really interesting how many people think that I am Muslim. Or I am Indian. Or that I am this or that without really getting to know the person. And then they make their assumptions." In his series Selves, Cruz depicts different versions of himself.  Then the viewer is forced to confront themselves when arriving at the final frame: a mirror.  Each portrait challenges the viewer to explore and confront our own perceptions of "identity," and how appearances affect our prejudices. "As an advocate in my community, I hope my images showcase the struggles of identity in the 21st century as a reflection of our own internal insecurities and the ill perceived notion of belonging.

Pedro Igrez' work is connected to the natural essence of the world around him.  Utilizing organic materials and discarded items, from wood to coffee grinds, he deconstructs imagery to evoke nostalgic memories from his hometown. Igrez grew up in a small rural community in Mexico and moved to the border, then Chicago, for growth and self-discovery.  Igrez remarks that, "I miss the smell of home - the wet ground, the grass - and I miss the easy living without all the pretending of the city."  A recent trip back to Mexico revealed that his hometown, built upon dirt roads and simple living, is no longer there. Instead, a small city emerged on top of his past, inspiring an urgency to capture the memories before they disappear. He recreates these fleeting memories in tangible form - such as when the community came together in autumn to work and rejoice, as seen in Harvest. Igrez' work is layered in rust, dirt, and history to deliver an uplifting reclamation of his past.

TRES runs March 4, 2016 - May 1, 2016 and is curated by assistant gallery director Scott Renfro.

The Jackson Junge Gallery is proud to present TRES for The Spring of Latino Art taking place in Chicago from March - June as an ancillary program of the 5th Biennial Latino Art Now! Conference.



BEST IN SHOW November 6, 2015 - January 10, 2016

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday November 6, 2015  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery proudly presents a special group exhibition titled Best in Show. The exhibition opens to the public with an artist’s reception on Friday, November 6, 2015 from 6-10PM and runs until January 10, 2016.

Anatole France said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Best in Show is a collection of work that is sure to awaken the soul by appealing to the animal lover in all of us.  Whether it is the pets that share our individual living spaces, the ones that we visit at a zoo or in the wild, they all impact humanity and our daily lives.

Best in Show explores the depiction of animals through multiple mediums.  Kate Hoyer's god paintings capture "man's best friend" through a kaleidoscope of pinstripes.   At first glance they appear psychedelic and surreal, yet there is so much emotion portrayed in each of her model’s eyes.  Anne Leuck Feldhaus reflects the joy and humor dogs bring to our lives in her  stylized portraits while Dave Szpunar’s photographs capture dogs immersed in city life.    

More exotic animals also make an appearance at Best in Show.  Rita Dianni-Kaleel dynamically portrays a cheetah in “Camouflage” set against a powerful red backdrop. Dimitri Pavlotsky’s textured canvases, in vivid pastel colors and expressionism, bring to life a ram and a stag in his work “Interpreting the Mood” and “Private Space.” Ilie Vaduva developed his own mixed media style incorporating white ink and thin layers of oil paint to brilliantly abstract the presence of two eagles in his large scale “Eagle Head Mirror”. 

The collection of work in the Best in Show exhibition isn’t limited to the walls. Gallery artist, Audry Cramblit, exhibits a new series of bronze and ceramic horses while Staci Sterenberg adds a touch of whimsy to the show with her delightful mosaic sculptures.

Best in Show runs November 6, 2015 – January 10, 2016 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Director Scott Renfro and artist Laura Junge.





ONE WALL 2017 July 14 - Sept. 9, 2017

The popular ONE WALL rotating exhibition presented by the Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park, returns for its third season on July 14, 2017 and runs through September 7, 2017.  ONE WALL is exactly how it sounds, one wall. But over the course of eight weeks, four unique installations will transform the space occupied by the wall. A unique aspect of this exhibition is that it has 24 hour public exposure and can be viewed in the gallery’s prominent street level window at any time. Artist reception, free to the public, will take place on the opening date of each instillation.

Four artists were selected to participate in this exhibition with work spanning a variety of themes and mediums: 

ROUND 1:  AVERIE Caught July 14th – July 27th   

Averie, originally from Chicago, has recently moved back to the city after living in Boston and Seattle. While in Seattle she stumbled upon Shibari, rope art. With a background in oil painting and photography, Averie saw this as a new challenge

She says, “Rope displays the human form beautifully. Its applications and functionality are endless making it a perfect medium for my concepts. Rope is a tool. It offers structure, security, flexibility, and restriction which is why I value working with it.” She finds that when the rope is applied to the body these properties ignite a freeing sense of vulnerability and transformation.  Averie says, “Caught explores the vulnerability of letting go and the satisfaction of willingly being captured. The subject is a floating body emulating how it feels to be suspended in air, as if suspended by ropes. Yet in this piece, instead of commanding the body, the rope confines the space.” The rope acts as a structure to keep the body from leaving the space, “free to move, free to feel, but not free to escape.”

ROUND 2: EOIN CULLEN Gone too Soon July 28th – August 10th  

“I begin with a word, emotion or memory – it is from those feelings that I create.”

Eoin Cullen was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. He attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has been a Chicago-based artist ever since.  Cullen approaches each piece he makes as a separate journey. “I often start with a figurative base, but letting the piece evolve with my emotions – hoping to tell a story. The human journey is the basis for my art, including our shared history as the human race.”

Gone Too Soon is about paying homage to deceased musicians we have lost over the past few years. Installed on the One Wall are 41 round speakers ranging from 18” to 8” to make up one large speaker cone.  “Taking a speaker, which is generally black and heavy and converting it to white and light was the beginning thought behind this piece. There is something very peaceful about an all white non-working speaker.” The speakers are casted in white resin symbolizing that musicians can still live through their music even after they have passed.  Cullen says, “Take a moment to remember one of these artist, Put a song in their head for the day, or Perhaps discover one of these artist by looking up unfamiliar lyrics.”

ROUND 3:  BLAKE JONES Certain Effects AUGUST 11th – AUGUST 24th  

Blake Jones is a Chicago-based Artist and Designer originally from Houston, TX. Jones’s work focuses on the contemporary and comical Illustration. He has a wide range of influences and his work has been used in many different ways ranging from murals to music posters.

As of late Jones has been evolving into larger more immersive experiences. Certain Effects blends his illustration work with installation. Jones’s says, “With a focus on humor, fun, and composition, my work yearns to hold an audience’s attention and keep a smile on their face.”

ROUND 4:  PHIL HAWKINS Radiate AUGUST 25th – SEPTEMBER 7th  

Phil Hawkins is a contemporary installation artist focusing on, sculpture, painting, graphic art, and jewelry design from Omaha, Nebraska. His main practice is producing abstract forms that manipulate the space through highly intricate patters while using a unique blend of macro and micro levels. Often his large-scale installations are sight specific and are always utilizing optical effects.

Hawkins says, Radiate is a site-specific installation that visually transforms the environment.  Multiple angled walls come together and create a connection that flows between the two, as one gets closer scale distortion and optical illusion creates a third dimension.”

ONE WALL runs July 14th – September 7th and is curated by Assistant Gallery Director, Kaitlyn Miller.

Featured Artists:  Averie, Eoin Cullen, Blake Jones, and Phil Hawkins 


THE NOTION OF MOTION March 20 - May 17, 2015

NOW EXTENDED THRU MAY 17th!

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, March 20, 2015  6-9PM

EXTENDED THRU MAY 17, 2015

Movement is one of the nine principals of art that every art student learns during their first-year fundamentals course.  By utilizing elements such as pattern, contrast, and line, the artist controls the viewer’s eye and dictates its route throughout a work of art. Movement becomes crucial to the success or failure of an artwork.   But how is movement interpreted?

“The Notion of Motion” is a collection of work by artists who were challenged to depict movement—and a varied response of subject matter and media was received.  Interestingly, this exhibition largely reflects two art movements in our recent history: Abstract Expressionism and Op Art.

Abstract Expressionism is rooted in process and places emphasis on dynamic, gestural movement.  Exhibiting artists Kathy Roman, Stephen Ursino, and Eve Ozer would have felt at home within The New York School.  Ozer is a self-described “frustrated choreographer,” but has a powerful love of free dance.  She is in constant motion as she works.  “There is a perfect synergy of the energy I feel in the music and the flow of paint across the paper—sometimes lyrical, sometimes frenetic.” A frenzied spat of movement must have yielded her piece “I Hear You.”

Op Art (or Optical Art) is a dynamic form of abstraction that gained popularity in the 1960s.  Op art relies on the illusion of movement achieved by discordant figure ground relationships. It challenges the viewer’s expectations by creating a perception of movement that confuses and excites the eye.  Judith Gries’ works “Dizzy I” and “Dizzy II” channel well-known op-artist Bridget Riley.  Gries’ utilizes black and white pattern and line that gives the surface a vibrating sensation.  These pieces are suspended like mobiles, further intensifying the “dizzying” effect.

 “The Notion of Motion” doesn’t only present abstracted concepts of motion.  Photographers David Mayhew, Kathryn Scott, and duo Shirley Nannini and Candace Wark use their lenses to capture physical movement. Mayhew recently returned from a trip to Iceland.  His works “Crash” and “Ship to Shore” portray moments of intense power and serene calm from an otherworldly landscape.

Featured Artists:

L. Lee Junge, David Mayhew, Audry Cramblit, Judith Gries, Barbara Eberhard, Eve Ozer, Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Robin Monique Rios, Kathryn Scott, Natasha Kohli, Kristi Sloniger, Shirley Nannini and Candace Wark, Kathy Roman, Evan Ishmael, Stephen Ursino and Brian Morgan



CHICAGO A.D. (AFTER DALEY) January 21 - February 27, 2011

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday Jan. 21, 2015  6-9PM

After 21 years in office, it’s hard to imagine Chicago without Mayor Richard M. Daley in the driver’s seat. What direction will the Mayor’s signature accomplishments and noted controversies take now? 

Pundits, politicians and citizen activists aren’t the only folks to weigh in. Fourteen Chicago artists have created works representing their take on Chicago’s future. The art will be displayed in a special exhibit titled “Chicago A.D. (After Daley)” at the Jackson Junge Gallery in Chicago from Friday, January 21, thru Sunday, February, 27. An opening reception, free to the public, will be held on January 21st, from 6pm – 9pm.

The collection includes paintings, digital images, illustration, collage, jewelry and more.  The visual commentaries offer tributes and critiques of the long-serving Mayor as well as projection over what comes next.

The economy, diversity, housing, corruption, airport expansion and those infamous parking meters are just a few of the subjects addressed in this clever, provocative and timely exhibit.

“As a venue that showcases contemporary Chicago artists we couldn’t resist the upcoming mayoral election,” said Chris Jackson, director and co-owner of the Jackson Junge Gallery.  “We gave the artists considerable leeway simply asking them to create a visual perspective on what this turning point might mean for the City of Chicago.  As a result, we received a broad range of work ranging in tone from political and satirical to reflective and inspiring.  We can only hope that the election itself proves as insightful!”

EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS:

“The Mayor of Mayhem,” Laura Lee Junge (oil on canvas, 62”x48”):  Mayor of Mayhem is a portrait of the future Mayor of Chicago. While the image is figurative it is meant to represent the complexities that will greet the city’s new top executive, rather than the individual elected to fill those shoes. The portrait incorporates a machine-like quality that underscores Chicago style politics. The Mayor’s apparel is decorated with Chicago’s finest institutions from museums and landmarks to sports teams and entertainment. There are subtle and not-so-subtle references to the myriad of problems the city faces today.  A rabbit fishing for a carrot is perched on the future Mayor’s top hat suggesting the reputed corruption of city government.

“This Meter Has Been Left As A Courtesy To Cyclists,” Brian Morgan (India ink, acrylic and vinyl paint on wood, 20” x 16): According to the artist, Mayor Richard M. Daley embodies everything that is Chicago…passion, corruption, tenacity, ingenuity. While he may be rough around the edges he is also a compassionate man who flouts high-tech innovation while enjoying a ride to work on his bicycle.  The parking meter controversy illustrates Daley’s approach.  He leaves a legacy of parking frustration for motorists but has been careful to maintain a number of the old-fashioned meters so that citizens have a post to lock their bikes (and presumably leave their cars at home.) Brian Morgan’s painting depicts a smiling portrait of Mayor Daley wearing a lapel pin that toots the benefit of meters for cyclists.

Owls Over The Windy City,” Anastasia Mak (acrylic on canvas, 24” x 26”): Owls that hover above the city scoping out the skyline represent Chicago’s mayoral candidates. Owls are symbolic creatures with multiple meanings. They are perceived to be wise and protective, qualities the citizens of Chicago hope their new Mayor will possess.  But, they are also nocturnal and mysterious birds adverse to light and “sunshine.” The artist notes that owls are aggressive predators. She questions whether the city’s new leader will strive for personal gain at the expense of those less powerful or work to rid the city of the many “rodents” it has harbored over the years.

“O’Hare Expansion,” Bobbie Bolociuch (sterling silver ring): The world’s busiest (or second busiest?) airport is reduced to sit on the head a finger ring. With travelers, revenue and airline support in decline, the O’Hare Airport runway expansion continues to face challenges. What was once considered to be a Daley legacy now seems ripe with uncertainty.  The new Mayor will inherit what this artist claims is a “tangle of ambition, politics and profit.” Ironically, the magnitude and complexity of the airport project far out measure the parameter of a pinky finger ring.  The piece evokes the indecision, confusion and multiple direction the artist ascribes to the expansion plans.  

“Passing The Mantle,” Tim Jackson (Illustration / cartoon  81/2” x 11”) :  Political cartoonist Tim Jackson says “Passing the Mantle” illustrates the ending of a  political dynasty in Chicago.  With an image reminiscent of “The Sword in the Stone,” Mayor Daley lays down the governmental gauntlet before a sea of eager, reaching and diverse hands.  Who will prove himself or herself charismatic enough to woo the voting masses while mastering the leadership skills worthy of ruling over Chicago? Out of the throngs of contenders for the throne, there can be only one!           



TOOL BOX FLOWER BOX October 8 - November 7, 2010

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday Oct. 8, 2010  6-9PM

“Tool Box Flower Box,” an exhibit featuring single works by 20 Chicago artists, will be on display October 8 thru November 7, 2010, at the Jackson Junge Gallery in Chicago. An opening reception, free to the public, will be held on Friday, October 8, 6pm – 9pm. Participating artists will be present.

The show highlights facets of urban life where art, technology and nature co-exist.  Pieces represent a range of media from oils and acrylics to watercolor, ink and mixed media.  The collection is assembled to create a “Suite of Nature” reminiscent of a botanical manual.  The exhibit symbolizes how technology, mechanical tools and organic plant life harmonize to achieve a sense of balance.

The show was conceived and organized by the team of Fletcher Hayes and Kim Laurel in support of Chicago Artists Month, celebrated throughout the city during October.  The theme of this year’s tribute is “City as Studio” and explores the impact the urban environment has on local artists and their work.

“Modern cities are characterized by glass skyscrapers, high-tech communications and a frenetic lifestyle. Nature is often an afterthought when defining urban settings,” says Laurel. “However, those who love the city life find a way to include the pure, cathartic power of nature whether through actual urban gardening or symbolic means.”

Thus a daily dose of nature may be found in a single flower box suspended 39 floors above a manic city street.  A small garden oasis thrives on a cement  island in the financial district, a patch of dandelions grow audaciously in the dust of a construction site, digital images of plants and trees emanate from the plasma screen in the window of the electronics store.

“Human beings find ways to adapt their environment and compensate for perceived imbalances in their lives. Nature and technology can and do blend in unusual ways,” adds Hayes.

Most pieces presented in Tool Box Flower Box were created specifically for the show. The artists were asked to comply with a uniform size but enjoyed free will in terms of medium and theme interpretation. 

The twenty artists contributing to the exhibit include:  Ruby Barnes, Sharon Bladholm, George C. Clarke, Laura Coyle, Deborah Adams Doering, Kathryn Gauthier, Michael Goro, Steve Grant, Fletcher Hayes, Eve Jensen, Deborah Maris Lader, Kim Laurel, Richard Laurent, Gregorio Mejia, Joyce Owens, Jeff Stevenson, Neil Shapiro, Michael Thompson, Kathy Weaver and Jill Zylke.

EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS:

“Clivia Miniata Raspea,” Laura Coyle (Watercolor):  A colorful rendition of this South African plant looks lovely to the casual observer.  In Victorian England the newly imported species was believed to have cleansing powers, countering the dirt and grime of big cities like London. However, it was soon discovered that the plant produced allergic reactions upon contact with human skin.  One legendary story led to the cancelled nuptials of a prominent social couple when the bride’s bouquet produced an unsightly rash. The incident was remembered as the simple plant that attacked the British Empire.

Deus Ex Machina,” Kathy Weaver (Gouache):  The title of this piece refers to a literary device where the plot and ultimate outcome hinges on drastic interventions.  The artist believes the fate of nature and organic life currently requires such change. The robot in this piece symbolizes “Everyman” surviving in a sophisticated, mechanized world.  The figure is at a crossroads trying to determine how technology and nature will co-exist.  The artist feels the choice is to remember our humanity and ease up on consumption or forge ahead greedily and suffer the consequences.  

Tools and Orchids,” Sharon Bladholm (Watercolor on antique ledger paper): Bladholm’s aesthetic images are backed with extensive botanic research.  She has traveled to remote locations including the Peruvian Amazon to document the conservation of endangered plants and animals. Her work is grounded in her avid commitment to preserving world habitats. “Tools and Orchids” depicts well-used gardening tools morphing into flowers…tools that bring beauty into life whether organic vegetation or botanical art.

“Start Here,” Joyce Owens (Mixed media): The human as machine is the focus of this low-relief work.  The female figure exists in a bed of flowers and other botanic matter.  Owens sends a message of warning; nature will eventually exist only in our minds if we do not adjust our living practices to stop and reverse climate change.

Tool Box Flower Box is part of Chicago Artists Month 2010, the 15th annual celebration of Chicago’s vibrant visual art community coordinated by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. 



DUAL September 28 - November 14, 2010

The Battle Begins

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday Oct. 1, 2010  6-9PM

“Dual: The Battle Begins,” a collection of oil paintings by Chicago artist Laura Lee Junge will be on display at the Jackson Junge Gallery September 28 – November 14, 2010. An opening reception, free to the public, will be held on Friday, October 1, 6pm – 9pm. The artist will be present at this event.

Known for her colorful, fanciful and kinetic paintings, Junge’s exhibit features surreal “warriors” and “angels.” Through these works the artist explores polar concepts such as good and evil, sanity and insanity, control and chaos. She presents the intellectual, moral and emotional dilemma these opposing forces create for humankind.

Junge is the signature artist at the Jackson Junge Gallery which celebrates its first-year anniversary in October.  “Dual” is the third major exhibit the prolific painter has mounted at the gallery between showings of other local, contemporary artists.  As the only permanent venue for her work in Chicago, residents and visitors are becoming increasingly familiar with her engaging art. Among other recent honors, one of Junge’s images was selected to represent the September 2010 Lakeview East Festival of the Arts in Chicago.

Warriors and angels are common subjects for Junge but this exhibit marks the first time she has presented them together under a theme of duplicity and conflict.

“I debated whether to title the exhibit “Dual” or “Duel” says the artist.  “The focus is on internal struggles people cope with in their minds and hearts rather than physical combat.”

All of the paintings incorporate Junge’s trademark use of motion, vivid color and fantasy.  Within the warrior collection the artist distinguishes between gladiator and tribal portraits.  The gladiators, protected by armor and helmets, are depicted with calm, pensive faces.  The tribal images emerge from a rainbow of color their expressions obscured by face painting and masks.  Armor or masks, these devises disguise the inner turmoil their subjects experience.

“I don’t like to get too literal in the interpretation because I want people to draw their own
experiences from this series” says Junge. “However, in my view the gladiators represent challenges people deal with that are created by external sources; social, political, community issues that impact them in a personal way.  The tribal images relate to internal strife caused by emotions, matters of the heart and conscience.”

The warrior series was born out of Junge’s own angst over a commission she received.  The client had definitive views on what he wanted.  Junge was hesitant knowing that his direction was not in line with her creative instinct. She found herself torn between the need to earn income and the desire to preserve her artistic integrity. At a point of utter frustration she painted over the commissioned canvas and sketched the first renditions of  gladiator and tribal warriors.  The images helped her articulate the conflict in her mind. 

Junge’s warrior portraits are rich in symbolism.  Most of the gladiators bear an angel of hope on their forehead. The army of that fill their heads forge spears that criss-cross in an “X” formation denoting strength and self-defense.  Many of the paintings include the icon of a bull and fire (evil) and/or a horse and knight (good.)

The angel paintings in the exhibit offer clear contrast to the intensity of the warriors.  As viewers encounter these images they enjoy a sense of relief, a welcome oasis of tranquility. 

“My angels offer me peace of mind” says Junge.  “They are patterned after ancient Greek and Roman goddesses…romantic, beautiful and strong. Wings allow these creatures to escape torment, rise above the uncertainty and turmoil inherent to the human condition.  I don’t ascribe deep meaning to my angels…they are a sign of hope, a vestige of calm. Thank goodness our minds can conceive angels to balance the trials our warriors create within us.”

EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS:

Dynama: Tribal Warrior, oil on canvas, (DATE AND SIZE):   As her name indicates this female warrior emanates beauty and power.  The image incorporates two sets of eyes. Some people see lids shut tight in a state of contemplation. Others view eyes wide open expressing wonder and surprise. While the two “masks” reveal opposite demeanors it is evident a great deal occupies the warrior’s mind. Angels adorn her ears while others form a crown across her head their arms lifting solid brass rings.  Colors range from warm orange and yellows to cool blues and greens representing a myriad of swirling thoughts and emotions yet to be resolved.

In Rapture: Angel, oil on canvas (DATE AND SIZE): Perched on the top of a globe, a female dancer shows complete confidence in her angelic partner. She uses the winged creature as a stepping stone; her arm extends upwards toward the heavens.  The male figure is similar to the angelic beings that grace the foreheads of the warriors symbolizing  hope.  In sharp contrast to the warriors, this painting evokes pure bliss, tranquility and joy.

Fort Ifeye: Gladiator Warrior, oil on canvas (55” x 49”  2008): Fort Ifeye (a play on the word “fortify”) was a later study for Junge’s evolving warrior series.  In this piece the mental figurines extend beyond the warrior’s physique. One interpretation suggests that as inner conviction gains strength a person is better equipped to tackle external conflicts. This portrait exemplifies the artist’s notion of a fierce warrior decked in armor sporting a pensive face as he prepares mentally for battle.

Dual: The Battle Begins” is part of Chicago Artists Month 2010, the 15th annual celebration of Chicago’s vibrant visual art community coordinated by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. 



STORM CHASER August 24 - September 26, 2010

Drama on the High Skies

Opening Reception: Friday, August 27   6PM – 9PM

Spontaneity, flexibility, patience, hardiness and smarts are just a few of the traits a successful storm chaser must possess. No one understands that better than David Mayhew whose artistic photographs capture the dramatic and unique sky effects that exist before, during and after weather events.  “Storm Chaser,” an exhibit of Mayhew’s extraordinary work, will be on display at the Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago from Tuesday, August 24, 2010 through Sunday, September 26.  An opening reception will be held from 6pm – 9pm on Friday, August 27. The photographer will be present and the public is invited to attend free of charge.

While Mayhew’s photo portfolio spans a variety of subject matters, his stormy skies garner the greatest attention and remain his first passion.

“My interest is in dynamic stormy skies that present a canvas of color, patterns and motion,” says Mayhew. “There is something both exhilarating and humbling about viewing a magnificent skyscape that will never be replicated.  It’s there for one moment in time. My quest is to capture those moments of beautiful raw nature and share their emotional power with as many people as possible.”

For years, David Mayhew has traversed the country from Colorado to Indiana and Canada to Mexico in pursuit of the perfect storm. His priority is tornados and electrical storms as they create the most intriguing and compelling sky effects.

“Most photographers employ the sky as a backdrop to set off the subject of their work,” says Mayhew.  “My approach is just the opposite. The sky is my subject and I look for an object that may offer perspective or a secondary visual interest such as a farm house or trees.”

While his craft is photography, David has developed into a genuine weather geek using the most current array of technological gizmos and gadgets to plot his forays into nature’s wrath.  Mayhew enjoys a relationship with the Weather Lab at the College of DuPage outside Chicago. He frequently participates in spring trips where students and faculty embark on storm finding missions to learn more about the science behind extreme weather.

Mayhew plans his own trips based on a host of criteria. He looks for the formation of cells that will provide multiple opportunities for photography through the full storm cycle from initiation to tornado genesis and decline.  He must consider the lead time required to get to the site of the storm and prefers locations with flat topography affording wide open views of the sky.

Aside from the College of DuPage trip Mayhew normally works alone from a well-equipped SUV that serves as his private storm center.  It’s hard to find assistants that are able to depart on a moment’s notice once the right storm conditions develop.  

Mayhew shoots frequently in Chicago and has identified several sheltered venues that he can work out of in the throes of a storm such as the Skybridge tower that offers a stellar view of the city skyline.  However, on the open road he is exposed to the elements. “The key is to get the wind at my back to prevent objects and debris from flying directly into the camera lens,” says the photographer.

“I don’t know if I have captured the moment as intended until the situation passes and I have time to review my exposures,” says Mayhew. “The camera may have been jarred by the wind and what I hoped to be a break-through shot could be lacking in sharpness.” 

Mayhew shoots digital but remains true to the value of nature’s colors.  He uses technology to enhance contrast and saturation but does not alter actual colors. The artist feels that nothing can improve upon nature’s authentic palette.

Mayhew is often asked about the risk and danger of chasing storms.  He takes every precaution to stay out of harm’s way. Years of experience and his expertise with storm technology allow him to pursue his art without much fear for personal safety.  That’s not to say he hasn’t had a couple close calls along the way. Mayhew recalls a time when his van broke down just as a powerful storm was about to break in the middle of nowhere.  On another occasion, upon opening the door of his vehicle strong winds blew in the rear window.

While viewers react to Mayhew’s photography in different ways, his favorite response is an emotional one.  “I like for people to feel the power of nature when they look at my work.  The sky is such a unifying entity. It is a fundamental element of everyone’s world regardless of where they reside or the culture and beliefs they subscribe to. The sky is mysterious and comforting at the same time. Like our lives it is constantly changing and transitions so quickly from fierce tumult to placid serenity. The sky is always a source of awe.”      

“STORM CHASER” PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS:

Rain Dance (Iowa, Spring, 2008):   A supercell storm produced bold lightning, drenching rain and significant flooding. Mayhew was a half-mile from the edge of the rain shaft where lightning was striking. Using a slow, six-second exposure he was able to capture the expansive, elongated bolts of lightning. Reviewing the shot later he was struck with the fancy that the lightning formed a human stick figure. Some people suggested that the flash in this photo resembles a woman in stiletto heels prancing across the sky, hence the name “Rain Dance.”  

In Flow (Collyer, Kansas, 2008):  Two tornados occurred concurrently, one on either side of the photographer. Rain and hail preceded the funnel clouds.  The sky in this photo takes on the appearance of a giant ocean wave, building in strength to a white cap crescendo about to crash to the shore. A clear patch formed by descending air displays vibrant hues of blue and green. Some scientists theorize that the deep, rich colors result from light refracted by hail.

Golden Ambience (Minnesota, Spring, 2010): The serene aftermath of a storm is captured in this glowing photo.  Mayhew traveled 1,100 miles in pursuit of this weather event.  High bubbling Mammatus clouds form in extremely turbulent air while low white clouds result from cool air colliding with evaporating rain.  The setting sun turns the sky above a rich, deep gold.  This photo is a prime example of how the photographer showcases the sky and uses objects such as the farm house and trees to compliment his primary subject matter.

Sky Net (Chicago, August, 2008): In a six hour period, storms produced as much lightning as Chicago normally sees in 6 months.  While no actual tornados were recorded, the storms knocked down numerous trees and created much havoc. The bolt in this photo, which features the Sears Tower (since renamed Willis Tower,) struck the waters of Lake Michigan. The photo currently hangs in the office of the building’s General Manager.

David Mayhew, a native of England, spent many years in Chicago. He recently moved his studio to Colorado but still shoots frequently in the Chicago area.


NO U-TURN June 29 - August 15, 2010

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, July 9, 2010  6-9PM

“No U Turn,” a collection of paintings by contemporary artist Bruce Holwerda, will be on display Tuesday, June 29, through Sunday, August 15, 2010, at the Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago.  The artist presents a whimsical and provocative view of human kind. His style is so distinct that once exposed, people are quick to recognize his work anywhere. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, July 9th, 6pm – 9pm.  The artist will be present and the public is invited to attend free of charge.

The exhibit at the Jackson Junge Gallery traces the transition of Holwerda’s art from his early days as an advertising illustrator to his current body of fanciful acrylic paintings.

The shows title “No U Turn” contains multiple references. It underscores the artist’s preference for producing fine art over the restrained and not-always-creative process of commercial art.  The title is also assigned to a specific piece in the show; an unicyclist balanced on a path of precipitous twists and turns. Many of Holwerda’s compositions feature vehicles and other mobile devices propelled in a forward direction by human energy. Finally, the theme highlights Holwerda’s commitment to experiment and introduce “weirdified changes” to his art. 

Holwerda’s style is often identified as surreal.  Like many artists he is hesitant to put a label on his own art. He does concede that his work is a blend of illustration, cartoon and abstract painting.

“In my mind illustration is instructive, it is meant to support a story, editorialize or sell something,” says Holwerda.  “Illustration is high on technique and involves intentional detail.  Fine art is expressive, spontaneous and interpretative. It stands alone and sends it own message.”  intentional detail.  Fine art is expressive, spontaneous and interpretative. It stands alone and sends it own message.” The shows title “No U Turn” contains multiple references. It underscores the artist’s preference for producing fine art over the restrained and not-always-creative process of commercial art.  The title is also assigned to a specific piece in the show; an unicyclist balanced on a path of precipitous twists and turns. Many of Holwerda’s compositions feature vehicles and other mobile devices propelled in a forward direction by human energy. Finally, the theme highlights Holwerda’s commitment to experiment and introduce “weirdified changes” to his art. 

As evident in the show, commercial art was not the only factor to influence Holwerda.  As a young, unknown artist he spent several years earning income as a craftsman at a metal works factory.  That experience is manifest in his paintings. From the intricate mechanical costumes of his human figures to the detailed parts of his fantasy locomotives a mechanical aura looms.  In addition, a color scheme that favors rusts, hues of orange, gray and gold is common throughout his work.

Almost all of Holwerda’s work is figurative.  He enjoys portraying blue collar working people in his abstract style. “Many of my compositions represent the dreams of the working class, whether taking center stage in a performance or experiencing the freedom of the road in some insane vehicle” says the artist. 

While his portraits of human characters are fanciful, some viewers identify a dark quality.   “I don’t paint cheerful, smiling subjects. The people in my paintings bear serious expressions,” says Holwerda. “Combine that with their extreme poses, the elements of metal and machinery, the sharp contrast of my silhouette backgrounds and the overall impact can be intense.” 

Holwerda points to the silhouette effect as a trademark of his work.  His colorful, intricately costumed characters are almost always set against a stark, light background.  Another distinguishing feature is the red nose. Early on Holwerda began painting red noses on his human figures as an act of rebellion against the disciplined, realistic illustrations he created at the advertising agency. 

The exhibit at the Jackson Junge Gallery spans more than 20 years of Holwerda’s work.  Viewers are invited to trace the evolution from his early editorial illustrations to current acrylic paintings.



ANIMAL MENAGERIE May 18 - June 27, 2010

Opening Reception: Friday, May 21, 2010  6PM-9PM

“Best in Show” won’t be easy to select among the universally appealing collection of dogs, rabbits, giraffes and other creatures set to occupy the Jackson Junge Gallery this spring. “Animal Menagerie,” a lively and fun-filled exhibit of animal art by Chicago artists Jim Budish and  Kate Hoyer will run from May 18 through June 27, 2010. An opening reception, free to the public, will be held on Friday, May 21, 6pm – 9pm. The gallery is located at 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago.

Hoyer’s playful animal portraits (oil on canvas) coupled with Budish’s bronze sculptures create a truly unique animal colony.

“Jim Budish and Kate Hoyer have previously participated as guest artists at the Jackson Junge Gallery with a limited number of pieces on display,” said Chris Jackson, co-owner of the Jackson Junge Gallery.  “While the two couldn’t be more different in medium and style, their abstract and charming portrayals of the animal kingdom have proven very popular. We thought gallery visitors would enjoy a more extensive showing of their work and thus brought the two artists together for “Animal Menagerie.”

Jim Budish is a renowned artist whose bronze sculptures, on display worldwide, range from monumental public installations to miniature showcase collections.   His animal creations, described as whimsical and minimalist, appeal to all ages. Pieces to be featured in “Animal Menagerie” include dogs, rabbits, horses and ducks.

“I try to create a smile through my sculpture reaching into my subject, attempting to capture that ‘Joie De Vivre’ I believe is lurking somewhere inside every living creature,” says Budish.  “Through simple economy of line I attempt to capture the essence of my subjects’ spirit, emotion, attitude and personality whether people or animals.”

Budish works in bronze using the lost-wax method.  He sculpts small works in clay. Life-size and larger pieces are sculpted in low-density foam with surface clay applied during the final stages.

Among the artist’s most familiar pieces are a series of rabbit sculptures based on a character he has dubbed “Chauncey.”  The distinctive rabbit exists in many forms from a monumental installation at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado, to miniature pendant necklaces.   Several renditions of Chauncey will be included in the Animal Menagerie exhibit at the Jackson Junge Gallery.

“When I completed my first rabbit sculpture, an associate commented that he looked like a gardener,” says Budish. “I named the piece ‘Chauncey’ after the gentle savant gardener in Jerzy Kosinki’s 1971 novel “Being There.” The character was later made famous by actor Peter Sellers in a feature film version.”

Kate Hoyer’s large, abstract animal portraits, oil on canvas, are reminiscent of the Pop Art culture of the 1980’s. Her signature style combines “hypnotizing” color with wavy stripes.

“Originally, I focused on stripes because they allowed me to see the relationship between colors very clearly,” says Hoyer.  “I love the way certain color combinations vibrate more than others and stripes provide an excellent way to demonstrate that.  As my art evolved I began to experiment using stripes to compose surfaces, objects and animals. I found the technique loaned energy, life and vibrancy to my animal portraits.”

While dogs dominate Hoyer’s animal portfolio she brings horses, giraffes and other creatures to the Animal Menagerie exhibit at the Jackson Junge Gallery.  

The artist works from photographs she often shoots herself. A favorite subject is her own pooch “Jackson,” a labrador retriever she adopted when he was six years old.  “Jackson is my constant companion. I get to see his face from all different angles and in various light. I love the challenge of defining his moods and poses through stripes.”

Hoyer’s technique is linear and graphic and her color palette worlds apart from the earthy hues of most real-life animals.  Yet the portraits cast her subjects in a warm and endearing glow. It is this stark contrast that engages so many viewers.

Among the pieces on display at Jackson Junge Gallery is “My Sister’s Back Porch” (52 x 28, 2010.)   This canine trio includes Alice, a chocolate labrador Hoyer frequently “doggy sits,” and her own beloved pets Jackson and Dillon.  The composition represents a departure from her more common single animal portraits. She uses her color and stripe design to distinguish the personality of each.

Jim Budish resides and sculpts in Highland Park, Illinois, casting most of his work in Arizona.  Kate Hoyer has a studio in Lombard, Illinois.


 



IN BLOOM April 6 - May 16, 2010

Floral Interpretations

Opening Reception: Friday, April 9, 2010    6PM – 9PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave., ushers in spring with a veritable garden of artistic diversity.  “In Bloom: Floral Interpretations,”  a new exhibit on display from April 6 through May 16, 2010, features the work of the gallery’s signature artist Laura Lee Junge and five other local artists. 

Chosen pieces represent a range of styles and mediums as diverse as nature itself.  This uplifting and playful exhibit incorporates traditional oils, mixed media, digital art, photography, prints and batik; all conforming to the botanic theme.   An opening reception, free to the public, will be held on Friday April 9, from 6pm – 9pm.

“Chicagoans embrace the onset of spring with an enthusiasm that manifests itself in so many ways,” says Chris Jackson, co-owner of The Jackson Junge Gallery. “This exhibit is meant to honor that tradition celebrating an annual rite through many different artistic perspectives.”

In addition to Junge, “In Bloom” includes 30 works by local artists Kavan Geary, Jun-Jun Sta. Ana, Kate Hoyer, Sharon Bladholm and Irena Saparnis.


Laura Lee Junge:  With twelve oil paintings on display, Junge’s work provides the anchor for “In Bloom.”  Her floral creations showcase the distinctive elements of her style; surrealism, vivid color and a swirling sense of movement that brings life to the most placid floral arrangement.

Junge began painting florals early in her career and it is a theme she revisits often.  “I have always loved nature and enjoy introducing unexpected motion and life to the scenes I depict.” says Junge.  “People often exclaim over the energy and passion my floral paintings exude.” 

 

While Angels Sleep Your Love Shall Keep,” the icon image for the exhibit, is the last in a series of orchid paintings Junge created in late 2009.  The fanciful piece presents floating blossoms atop fragile stems that curl to form a heart pattern.  Departing from her usual frenetic backgrounds, this piece incorporates a geometric backdrop with a range of colors suggestive of a rainbow.  The painting transitions vertically from dark colors to light in tribute to the cycle of sleep.

Kavan Geary:  Residing in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Geary is the one participating artist from outside the immediate Chicago area.  His breathtaking floral photographs combine color, texture and light to create flowing, sensual works.  Images focus more on the color and pattern of part of his subject (in this case flowers) rather than how the entire subject relates to its environment.  His Inflorescence flower collection is based on an extraordinary interplay of light and color. The word inflorescence refers to the budding and unfolding of blossoms.

Jun-Jun Sta. Ana:  Sta. Ana relocated to Chicago from his native Philippines in 2006.  Since then his digital art has earned recognition across the country.  In his botany series, Sta. Ana uses repetition of human figures to create floral images suggestive of traditional Asian brush stroke compositions. His choice of black and grey tones, influenced by sumi-e paintings, is a provocative choice for a subject matter associated with vibrant color. 

Kate Hoyer:  Hoyer is best known for her canine portraits that combine brilliant color and geometric stripes in endearing renditions of man’s best friend. She brings the same technique, reminiscent of the 80’s pop culture, to her botanic oil paintings.  Hoyer applies abstract lines to common subject matters including animals, buildings and plants.  In this exhibit her unique style presents luminous spring flowers in a whole new light.

Sharon Bladholm:  Behind Sharon Bladholm’s stunning images lies a background in botanic research.  She has traveled to remote locations including the Peruvian Amazon to document the conservation of endangered plants and animals.  A versatile artist, she works in numerous mediums from glass and bronze to prints and water color.  Her contributions to “In Bloom” include an exquisite floral water color on mulberry paper and hand colored monotone prints. Her work is grounded in her avid commitment to preserving world habitats.

Irena Saparnis:  A master of batik, flowers and plant life have been a favorite subject matter for Irena Saparnis.  Her startling red poppies are animated by the art form.  Each work is truly unique due to the unpredictable variation of color and line the dye and wax process produces.


ON THE WAY TO IMAGINARIUM March 2 - 21, 2010

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday March 5, 2010

The artwork of Vladimir and Daniela Ovtcharov will be featured in a special exhibit titled “On The Way To Imaginarium” at the Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave., March 2 – 21, 2010.  An opening reception, free to the public, will be held Friday, March 5th from 5pm – 9pm. Both artists will be present at the opening event.

Described as “Visionary Fantasy,” the art created by this husband / wife team tell stories drawn from the artists’ vivid imaginations as well as worldwide mythologies and fables.  Thirty acrylic, oil and mixed media pieces will be on the display.  The artists utilize techniques of the European Renaissance masters to convey modern-day themes.   Natives of Bulgaria, the Ovtcharovs currently reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The show at the Jackson Junge Gallery offers a rare opportunity for Chicagoans to enjoy their work.

Vladimir and Daniela met nearly twenty-five years ago while attending the National Academy of Fine Art in Sofia, Bulgaria.  While each possesses a distinct style, their art is complementary and the couple always show their work together.

Daniela originally studied art conservation and restoration. Upon graduation from art school she applied her skills to deteriorating art work from 14th and 15th century Europe.  There is clear evidence of that period in her own creations.  “My women have the soft, ethereal beauty of females in renaissance paintings,” says the artist.

Vladimir’s art also incorporates old European techniques while capturing modern human behavior and social themes.  Both artists are versatile engaging with a variety of mediums. Their work includes paintings, mixed media, jewelry, sculpture and other art forms.

“People are attracted to our work for many reasons,” says Vladimir.  “The main draw seems to be the element of fantasy.  Our paintings are open to interpretation; we don’t try to impose our views. We encourage people to use their imagination and create their own meaning.”

EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS:

Mirror World: Vladimir Ovtcharov, Mixed Media, 35” x 23”, 2009

Two women posed side by side appear to be the mirror image of one another. Upon closer inspection subtle differences emerge in facial features, hand positions and costume. Headdresses in the shape of ancient ships contain miniature cities, suggesting the strength and power of the “individual” women supporting them.  This mixed media piece is a replica of the artist’s original acrylic painting. Covered in a clear resin the addition of gold leaf, dry leaf, glass and other materials add texture, dimension and a new aesthetic to the work.

Beauty and Her Beast IV:  Vladimir Ovtcharov, Acrylic, 18” x 24”, 2009

A beautiful woman cuddles a troll-like creature who is ensconced in a princely crown. While most people would judge the creature to be “ugly” there is an endearing quality as he gazes at the woman with adoration.  This is one of four pieces in a series of Beauty / Beast paintings by the artist. Vladimir pursues the theme as one indicative of life…the balance between opposites; the subjective nature of what is beautiful and good.

Serenity:  Daniela Ovtcharov, Oil, 42” x 24”, 2009

In recent years the artist has painted a series of nude women nestled in sea shells. In this painting a lovely female is snuggled into the pearly mouth of a conch shell.  Viewers read different symbolism into the image…the protection of the womb…Venus rising out of the clam shell free of inhibition and fear…the strength encompassed in a delicate shell.  The colors in the piece are notably muted from the bold reds, oranges and blues more typical of Daniela’s work. Winter whites provide a sense of peace, harmony and serenity.

The Ovtcharovs recently published a book that features their work along with narrative composed by their daughter. The book, also entitled “On The Way To Imaginarium,” is available for purchase at the Jackson Junge Gallery for the run of the show. The artists will sign copies at the March 5th reception.


FLOCK January 19 - February 28, 2010

The American Bird Personified

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday Jan. 22, 2010  5PM - 9PM

Twenty acrylic paintings by Chicago artist Tracy Ostmann will be on exhibit at the Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave., from January 19 thru February 28, 2010. “Flock: The American Bird Personified” showcases the artist’s unique perspective on the American bird.  An opening reception, free to the public, will be held on Friday, January 22, from 5pm – 9pm. The artist will be present.

Inspired by wildlife photos she shot at her parent’s beach home on the outer banks of North Carolina, Ostmann’s “flock” has garnered recognition for its definitive style, soft presence and personality. Her large scale bird images focus on seagulls and sand pipers. More expressive than realistic, the birds touch on themes of maternity, conservation and humor. Bird lovers and others can’t help but respond to her compelling paintings.

Ostmann began work on the bird series three years ago when she became pregnant with her first child.  Health and safety concerns led her to switch from oil paint to acrylic.  As she experimented with the new medium she searched for a subject matter less complex than the human figures she usually painted.  She turned to the avian world, focusing on the seagulls and sandpipers that captured her imagination during annual visits to the North Carolina shore.

The artist is the first to point out she attributes human characteristics to her birds. All of her specimens are portrayed in an upright standing pose, rarely in flight.  Many suggest human behaviors whether related to mothering, relationships or emotions.

While the large, stoic and communicative birds dominate, background is as important to Ostmann’s work as the creatures themselves.  The artist uses layer upon layer of paint to achieve the right color, tone and texture. The backdrops suggest a foggy beach scene where sand, water and skyline mesh into one. 

 “I make the backgrounds suggestive of a scene in nature without realism,” says Ostmann. “Most people comment on the appeal or intrigue of the birds, however it is the background that involves the most work.”

Grey tones, achieved through careful application of color, dominate Ostmann’s avian paintings. The subtle color scheme is broken by a consistent splash of vibrant color that defines each creature’s beak.

Many of the birds in Ostmann’s paintings have harsh features and expressions countered by large underbellies that seem to glow with an ethereal softness.  The influence of her own pregnancy at the start of the bird series does not escape the artist. The bellies and compositions involving eggs, nesting and rearing young draw obvious parallels to her imminent motherhood.

Humor is present in Ostmann’s work.  In “Big Fat Bird Blue” an overly attentive mother bird has accidently knocked her chicks out of the nest much to her chagrin (perhaps the subliminal angst of a soon to be mother?) “Top Hats” presents a chorus line of seagulls flaunting formal head wear.


IT'S SHOWTIME October 24, 2009 - January 16, 2010

A Place Where Illusion Reigns Supreme

OPENING RECEPTION: Oct. 24, 2009

Acclaimed Chicago artist Laura Lee Junge now has a permanent display venue in her hometown.  The Jackson Junge Gallery has opened its doors in the Bucktown / Wicker Park arts district at 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Transformed from an aging furniture warehouse into a stunning, edgy and ultimately friendly arts mecca, the gallery features Junge’s paintings and the work of other contemporary artists.

“Previously, Laura Lee Junge’s work was only available for viewing at her studio, seasonal art fairs and through distributors outside Chicago,” said Chris Jackson who co-owns the new Jackson Junge Gallery along with the artist. “This signature gallery allows Chicagoans to get better acquainted with a talented artist who lives and creates right here in their own city. Laura is delighted to greet visitors in person and converse with them face to face.”

Laura Lee Junge, a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, has been hailed as an “intoxicating” new talent in the fine arts arena. Her oil paintings, infused with motion, color and a decided dose of fantasy have been described as “surrealistic expressionism.” Diverse subject matters range from music, dance and popular culture to nature and machines.

Junge has assembled a compelling exhibit to celebrate the opening of the gallery. Appropriately named “It’s Showtime,” the display is a tribute to the world of entertainment and performing arts. The show features 26 paintings, largely oils, which depict musicians, dancers, acrobats and other entertainers. In typical Junge style the colorful, energetic pieces possess a fanciful quality that captures the grace, emotion and complexity of performance.  Each work explores ways that art is brought to life. “It’s Showtime” will continue at the gallery through January 16, 2010.

“Movement and motion are an integral part of my work, a common element in all my paintings,” said Junge.  “The movement reflects my outlook on life…everything has vitality, nothing is static. Even inanimate objects are surrounded by energy and change with time. My paintings express life’s promise and uncertainty through the sense of motion.”




CHICAGO: One City Many Colors July 9 — September 15, 2013

Photography by Dimitre

OPENING RECEPTION: July 11, 2013 6-9PM

"Chicago: One City Many Colors" is a new solo exhibit featuring the works of local photographer, Dimitre. Jackson Junge Gallery is proud to showcase 18 pieces which portray the ever-changing landscape of Chicago. The exhibition will run from July 9 thru September 15. There will be an opening reception with the artist Thursday, July 11th from 6-9 PM. Reception and exhibition are free to the public.

The skyline, architecture and brilliant hues of the city of Chicago are the subject of the exhibition by award-winning photographer Dimitre. Chicago: One City, Many Colors offers a brilliant overview of the artist's career with 18 signature portraits of his adopted hometown. Dimitre's passionate landscapes do more than capture the city's muscular beauty; they reveal a unique viewpoint that incites the mind and arouses inspiration and reverence.

Dimitre has lived and worked in Chicago for two decades, moving freely between the worlds of fine art, commercial art and architectural photography. His series of common perspective skylines, also titled One City, Many Colors, has been viewed by millions of people arriving at Midway Airport.

Over the course of five years, Dimitre took the same photograph from his studio window only to discover there was more to the scene that had initially seemed so mundane. As the days pass, the clouds shift, the light brightens and fades, the cars appear and disappear, people flow in and out of the shots. After five years even Dimitre changes. The city itself is pervasive, becoming a recurring character in this quotidian scene; a constant.

This exhibit aims for the audience to come away with an appreciation of the scenes that surround them every day. They will stop and smell the roses and realize there is no need to travel far and wide to find beautiful landscapes. "We need to look at what is right before our eyes and learn to appreciate that which is unique to us and only us," Dimitre explains. "We can then share our perspective with others in a way that is fresh and exciting."

Exhibit Highlights:

"Chicago CAB Sex 0997" This monumental photograph depicts the Chicago skyline from the broken and battered windows of an old grain elevator. This is not the overwrought imagery marketed to tourists, but a reinterpretation of the iconic skyline transformed by an atypical perspective. The sharp contrast between the busted windows and dark interior of the grain elevator is striking when juxtaposed to the sprawling bright city in the distance.

"Chicago Color Stitched 9827" In this piece, Dimitre captures the luminescent faces of three Chicago skyscrapers. With the evening sun glancing off its windows, the Willis Tower becomes a radiant rainbow, a stirring contrast to the Hancock Tower's steely gray face and the violet sky. A deep orange sunrise silhouetting the Trump Tower fills the last third of this triptych, joined with the others in the artist's signature stitching technique.

"One City Many Colors The culmination of the exhibition is a new wall panel consisting of 54 images showing the view from Dimitre's latest studio taken over the course of one year. While each image depicts a different day, mood, feeling and thought, together they express a continuity representing a fuller, more visceral and more satisfying portrait of a city through time.


DUET: A Symphony of Realism & Abstraction March 7 - April 27, 2014

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday March 7, 2014

"Duet: A Symphony of Realism and Abstraction" features the voices of bronze sculptor Audry Cramblit and abstract painter M. Jackson (aka L. Lee Junge). This exhibition unifies the distinctive stories each artist conveys through different mediums, styles, and techniques. Together these artists stage a dramatic performance, with Jackson's paintings setting an otherworldly backdrop for Cramblit's figurative sculpture.

There is something fundamentally familiar about Cramblit's work. The bronze figures she casts appear like relics of a universal myth, yet they are very much alive and modern. Cramblit explains that she is not limited by a specific scope or theme, but that one idea just springs from the next. However, texture and a sophisticated attention to detail is something consistent throughout her work. Cramblit's sculpture, "A New Leaf," resembles a romantic figure of legend with a bodice draped in intricate patterns, a character in a drama lost until now.

Both artists adroitly shift between realism and abstraction, sharing the conviction that abstraction affords a flexibility and freedom that the more defined boundaries of realism cannot allow. "In abstraction," observes Jackson, "the work comes from the soul instead of the mind. The work (itself) often takes on a life of its own. The artist can stay in the moment while the painting evolves unto itself."


Abstraction allows L. Lee Junge, who is known for her contemporary surrealism, to paint with unrestrained creativity under the moniker of M. Jackson. In "Stir Crazy," Jackson releases a suppressed energy. A monstrous plume of motion crackles and wriggles, appearing suspended in a serene sky. There is fluidity throughout her work that channels an energy that seems to defy the very nature of a one-dimensional canvas.


Jackson's paintings ground Cramblit's sculpture in a celestial setting, an environment enhanced by each other's voice. The artists flawlessly complement each other. Jackson remarks, "it's like two distinct songs coming together to create something entirely new." It is a perfect duet in every sense.


"Duet: A Symphony of Realism and Abstraction," is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson and Assistant Director Scott Renfro.


EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY November 8, 2014 - January 16, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday Nov. 8, 2014  6-9PM

EAT, DRINK, and BE MERRY is a group exhibition by local and national artists that explores the celebration of food and drink in today’s culture. The intrinsic function of food is to provide nourishment; however, with the growing popularity and elevation of the culinary arts the consumption of food has evolved into a multi-faceted social experience. As the holidays approach, the importance of food and celebration becomes increasingly emphasized with social and family functions centered on the art of dining.

EAT, DRINK, and BE MERRY showcases a breadth of work from contemporary still life to the surreal.  Artists like Richard Laurent, Alan Teger, and Laura Collins focus their subject on the enjoyment food brings through pithy humor.  However, other works in the exhibition focus on the ethical dilemmas of consumption that may often be overlooked as we celebrate the holidays.

Pamela Johnson’s larger than life junk food paintings reflect our gluttonous urge for immediate gratification without regard for consequence.  The heightened realism of her paintings serves as a mirror to our culture’s insatiable overindulgence.

The documentary photography of Alexandra Buxbaum and Karen Hanrahan further intensifies focus on mass-production and consumption. These images shed light on the issues of production that is often a taboo subject. As demand for food increases, factory and industrialized farming becomes increasingly common as we continue to feed a growing, hungry human population.

Food culture becomes emphasized as we gather for the holidays and EAT, DRINK, and BE MERRY celebrates and analyzes this common thread that unites our society.

EAT, DRINK, and BE MERRY is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Gallery Artist Laura Junge and Assistant Director Scott Renfro.

Exhibiting artists include: Lilla Dent, CJ Hungerman, Thomas Robert Meyers, Erin Elizabeth, Alexandra Buxbaum, Kate Tully, Rita Dianni-Kaleel, Karen Hanrahan, Richard Laurent, Alan Teger, Eric Cooney, Benjamin Madeska, Pamela Johnson, Judith Gries, Laura Collins



ETERNAL SKIES January 17 - March 2, 2014

Photography by David Mayhew

OPENING RECEPTION:
Friday, January 17, 2014 6-9PM

Eternal Skies is a solo photography exhibit of works by storm chaser, David Mayhew.  This exhibit will be the very first look at David Mayhew’s newest series of landscape photography.  The exhibit, featuring 10 new images, runs from January 17- March 2, 2014.    

Known for his dynamic scenes of severe weather, as featured in the 2010 exhibit “Storm Chaser: Drama on the High Skies,” Mayhew changes course with striking nightscapes featuring the unique and mysterious Aurora Borealis.  Deviating from his awe-inspiring tornado and lightning series,  Mayhew traveled to Western Iceland and brought the coastal landscapes full of icebergs and distinctive rock formations to Chicago.

In March of 2013, Mayhew traveled to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in hopes shifting his creative direction from tumultuous and violent storms, to calm, serene, and mystifying nightscapes.  The peninsula which is on the edge of the Arctic Circle is widely considered to be one of the best places to view the Northern Lights.  Pairing these arctic images alongside his familiar Midwestern landscapes, he truly captures beautiful and raw images from around the world.

Mayhew continued exploring nightscapes in the United States, trekking through Utah to capture Goblin Valley and Wilson’s Arch in the desert night.  Mayhew cites Cosmic Arch as his favorite piece in the show because of the unique rock formation illuminated by incoming traffic lights, an exceptional juxtaposition of nature and civilization.

Mayhew invites viewers into the sublime landscapes, trying to convey the richness and unknown in the skies.  “In the city, always look up.  Don’t be bogged down the by the day-to-day grind. There is an emotional quality to the always changing palette of the sky.”



FLUX October 7 - 30, 2016

The Jackson Junge Gallery is excited to present FLUX, a new exhibition by artist George Keaton opening on Friday, October 7, 2016 with an artist reception from 6-10PM.

FLUX presents George Keaton’s luminous evolution from mixed media street art to a sophisticated series achieved through Renaissance painting techniques. FLUX is about death and transition.  Inspired by a newly fallen leaf, Keaton found beauty in the changing colors that signaled the transition from life to death.  The exhibition depicts a series of animal skulls in brilliant color—a logical progression from his previous series, Menagerie, focused on African wildlife—in an effort to shift the viewer’s preconception of skull imagery.  Keaton wants the viewer to discard the harsh reality of death and recognize the beauty a skull symbolizes as the foundation of our existence.

George Keaton is a self-taught painter working and living in Chicago. His work is an exploration of color, process, and technique. Fo­cused on merging street art with fine art, his paintings are bold and vibrant state­ments that rely heavily on the process of construction and deconstruction. Striking images emerge from expressive strokes of color, channeling the dynamic energy and emotion of the subject.

FLUX runs October 7, 2016 – October 30, 2016 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson and Assistant Director Scott Renfro.


MARDI GRAS JUBILEE February 6 - March 1, 2015

CELEBRATING 140 YEARS OF CARNIVAL

FAT TUESDAY CELEBRATION: Tuesday February 17, 2015  6-9PM

The iconic New Orleans Mardi Gras posters by artist Andrea Mistretta are enjoyed and collected by millions of people. For the first time ever in Chicago, the famous Mardi Gras poster series will be presented exclusively by Jackson Junge Gallery, from February 6th – March 1st, along with a rare original carnivalesque canvas painting entitled “Spectrum Sun Goddess.”  This decade spanning retrospective includes notable pieces such as this year’s Mardi Gras Jubilee poster and the “Phoenix Rising” poster from 2006, that followed the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

On February 17, 2015, Jackson Junge Gallery will celebrate Mardi Gras’ 140th Jubilee year by throwing a “Fat Tuesday” party amidst the iconic poster series by Andrea Mistretta. Mistretta’s poster series stands as a Mardi Gras tradition that has delighted locals and tourist alike since 1985. The poster series’ “classic” status is achieved because of its continued presence over 30 years celebrating the “World’s Biggest Free Party.” Glimmering like colored jewels, the posters contain a variety of New Orleans symbols embedded in the fantastical images.  Bright beads, second-line parade-goers, celestial imagery, and nods to the tradition of the Mardi Gras Indians are among the nuanced figures within the thematic designs. The 2015 “JUBILEE” poster edition also commemorates the140th year that Mardi Gras was declared an official holiday in Louisiana. In the tradition of Mardi Gras’ secrecy, the enchanting girls in guise depicted in these poster portraits remain a mystery. 

About the artist:

An award-winning artist and graphic designer, Andrea Mistretta has worked in the commercial art industry since 1979. Her clients have included ABC, NBS, and Forbes Magazine, and she is the recipient of the prestigious Albert Vargas Award, among other awards from the Society of Illustrators and the Art Directors Club. While she specializes in poster design, her artwork has appeared on products including stationary, giftware, home décor, apparel , and jigsaw puzzles.

Devoted to promoting a positive image of New Orleans and Mardi Gras, Mistretta designed tribute postage stamps depicting local Jazz favorites such as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and King Oliver. She donates a portion of her proceeds of the sales from her Mardi Gras poster series and book to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.  Mayor Sidney Barthelemy conferred the title of “Honorary Citizen” on her.

A member of her community’s historical society and an avid environmentalist, Mistretta is the founder of the Italian American Social Club and the designer of the local Veteran’s Plaza where she resides in Waldwick, New Jersey, with her husband, Perry. 



NAKED and NOT AFRAID January 23 - March 1, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday January 23, 2015  6-9PM

Naked and Not Afraid is a group exhibition by local and national artists that opens January 23, 2015.  The exhibition opens to the public with an artists’ reception on Friday, January 23, 2015 from 6-9PM.

The nude figure is a traditional genre of Western Art dating back to Ancient Greece.  Its use varied overtime from expressing ideals of beauty, to more religious, erotic, or social connotations.  But what does it mean to be naked? Lord Kenneth Clark states in “The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form” that to be naked is to be deprived of clothes, implying embarrassment and shame. Why must nakedness be so shameful? This exhibition rebels against the societal constraints that make us conceal our true self.  Naked and Not Afraid reveals our vulnerabilities by courageously and proudly embracing that which makes each individual unique.

Naked and Not Afraid is not about nudity.  It’s about self discovery and expressing the soul. Through multiple mediums, these artists explore personal identity and societal constructs to find empowerment and liberation. Over the course of the exhibition, in-house artist Laura Lee Junge, who is celebrated for her intoxicating surrealism, will work on pieces in the gallery space while engaging collectors.  “I am pretty uncomfortable working in front of people and I’d like to overcome that fear. I plan to work on these pieces during the weekends, allowing people to watch my process and ask me questions.  I want to document the progress of work and incorporate it into a blog, sharing my thoughts and feelings.”  Junge remarks, “I can’t think of a way that I feel more naked than showing unfinished work.  I have never shown the progression of my work from rough sketch to final product.  This is the time to overcome that fear.”  Junge is not only embracing her fear but also revealing some of her greatest vulnerabilities in these new paintings. “The images deal with the painful struggle I went through last year. They tell the story of the dark places I went to and the healing and positive changes in my life that happened.”

Naked and Not Afraid is an empowering and honest exploration of how we define ourselves. From beautiful nudes to abstract examinations of the inner psyche, this exhibition bares it all.

“Naked and Not Afraid” is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Director Scott Renfro, and artist Laura Lee Junge.

Featured Artists:

L. Lee Junge, James Mesple, Audry Cramblit, Ruth Aizuss Migdal, Eric Bendickson, Colm McCarthy, Gerardo Villareal, Katie Hovencamp, Karen Hanrahan, Ken Beach, Rita Dianni-Kaleel, Tori Lane, Eric Baillies, Jan Wurm, Berthold Boone, Robert Tolchin, Judith Gries



O' GOOD LORD: A Modern Look at Spiritual Imagery Nov. 1, 2013 - Jan. 12, 2014

Group Exhibit

OPENING RECEPTION:
Friday Nov. 1, 2013 6-9PM

O' Good Lord: A Modern Look at Spiritual Imagery is a special holiday exhibition at Jackson Junge Gallery featuring a diverse group of artists from around the world. An opening reception with the artists will be held Friday, November 1st, from 6-9PM. In the spirit of the season, guests are encouraged to dress for the reception in the theme of a "Saints & Sinners". Costumes are encouraged. Both the opening reception and exhibit are free to the public.

Throughout the history of art, religion has played a dominant role; patronizing, propagating, destroying, re-appropriating. However, from the period of Modern Art onward, there has been a glorification of the secular and the critical; and while religion has not necessarily fallen by the wayside, it no longer wields the same power and dominance over Contemporary Art as it has in previous periods.

In an increasingly secular world, religion and spirituality have resurfaced as vehicles of self-expression and comfort. Stemming from the 2011 exhibit at Jackson Junge Gallery, Angelicies: A Look at the Modern-Day Angel, O' Good Lord broadly investigates contemporary spirituality and religion. Information about other cultures, traditions, religions, and societies is more accessible than ever before, causing an unprecedented dissemination of thoughts and ideas. The diffusion of other cultures and traditions greatly affects the art world, in large part because new ideas and institutions inspire artists to integrate new concepts into their artwork.

In place of several large orthodox religions of eras past, contemporary religion has been segmented into countless sects and denominations. Moreover, spirituality is constantly explored and expanded by the religious, creating a diverse and relatively incalculable collection of individual spiritualities.

O' Good Lord is a survey of the presence of religion and spirituality in Contemporary Art. Several artists from around the country explored themes which have been present for centuries. Some artists showed iconography that has transformed within the modern context, while others critiqued and questioned the very institutions which their ancestors esteemed. There are many pieces illustrating the transmission of cultures and traditions in order to channel the artist's personal spirituality. Some artists incorporate modern techniques and mediums in the representation of conventional religious icons.

Exhibit Highlights:

"Spirituality," Richard Liebenow, Oil on Canvas, 32" x 24" In this painting, returning artist Richard Liebenow critiques the search for faith and religion in the technological age. Liebenow describes his piece, "For many people today spirituality is not about religion or scientific answers, it is somewhere in between. Blocking out the noise and overabundance of (incomplete) information and reducing things to the most basic elements to find connection with the world around us. If man can balance logic and spirituality then Sisyphus can rise above his rock and burden."

Violation," Eric Cooney, Mixed Media, 54" x 34" In this installation sculpture, the artist critiques the violation of the American mantra, "In God We Trust." In this piece, a parking meter represents God as an authority figure that some people follow, and others ignore. Parking meters to some seem necessary while others view them as an obsolete institution. Cooney states, "People used to be criticized for ignoring parking meters, now the opposite is true. The broken concrete base symbolizes that broken relationship. Inside the glass dome of the meter are the words ‘In God We Trust.' The ‘Violation' flag is raised as when the timer runs out on a parking meter." This illustrates how there are contradictions between founding principles and modern society.


ONE WALL July 10, 2015 - August 13, 2015

ONE WALL is a rotating exhibition presented by the Jackson Junge Gallery.  ONE WALL is exactly how it sounds, one wall. Over the course of five weeks a different artist will take over this wall for the duration of one week—one wall, one week. A unique aspect of this exhibition is that it has 24 hour public exposure and can be viewed in the gallery’s prominent street level window at any time. 

Five artists were selected to participate in this exhibition with work spanning a variety of themes and mediums. 

WEEK 1:  Laurie Wessman LeBreton // July 10th – July 16th

Laurie Wessman LeBreton explores the unattainable, the elusive, and the indefinable.  LeBreton utilizes handmade paper as her primary medium to construct paper sculptures on forms and armatures.  These sculptures examine ideas of impermanence, the role of chance, the interplay of joy and sorrow and the futility of control.  LeBreton earned an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago and has participated in multiple exhibitions around the nation.

WEEK 2: Brandin Hurley // July 17th – July 23rd

Brandin Hurley is freelance visual fine artist, scenic artist and muralist working in the Chicago area. She has a background in visual fine art, and an MFA in scenic painting and scenic design. Hurley utilizes all of these skills to create visually compelling scenes with dimension and depth within a light box, by cutting and layering paper and lighting each scene.

WEEK 3:  Lauren Brescia // July 24th – July 30th

Lauren Brescia is a Chicago-based artist working in mixed media, including (but not limited to) industrial building materials, craft supplies, fabric, and found objects.  She has a B.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  Since graduating, she has participated in several group and solo shows, as well as operating her own solo Pop-Up Art Loop™ Gallery in Chicago.  She was named a top ten finalist in Chicago's Art Loop Open 2010 and was one of four featured artists in the Chicago Artists' Coalition annual "Starving Artist" benefit in 2011.  Her art has been featured on TheJealousCurator.com, ChicagoHome+Garden.com, and ABC Channel 7 News.  Her work is represented and sold at Curlytale Fine Art in River North.

WEEK 4:  Brittany Kowalski // July 31st – August 6th

Brittany Kowalski is an emerging artist currently living in Chicago with a studio space in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor. She earned her B.F.A from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Kowalski is inspired most by food and the aesthetics of eating and drinking. She utilizes a process that involves taking mundane objects from her life and turning them into whimsical poetic sculptures. Her work ranges from small life-like replications to large installations. 

WEEK 5:  Annie Hejny // August 7th – August 13th

Annie Hejny was born in St. Paul and studied at the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University, earning a double-major B.A. in Elementary Education and Studio Art with honors (2012).

Participating as a mentor and artist in the Twin Cities community, she has volunteered with Free Arts Minnesota, blankslate theater, VISION and founded the PAINT Project, a collaboration between local establishments to implement mural painting events in 10 countries during 2010-2013. Since 2014, Annie is a member of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) and the Women's Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM).

As an emerging visual artist, she intentionally explores the urban spaces from her many travels and creates highly-saturated paintings. Recent exhibitions include Art-A-Whirl, SweetArt Salon des Refusés at the Northrup King Building (2015), Cache at the Casket at the Casket Arts Building (2014) and Urban Landscapes at Ambiente Gallerie (2014). This particular exhibit featured paintings from the series Meet our Edge and Soften, reflecting on the year she lived between Minnesota and Illinois.

Returning from Chicago, she currently resides in St. Paul and works at the Casket Arts Building in Northeast Minneapolis. This summer she will participate in the Women's Art Institute. 

ONE WALL runs July 10th – August 13th and is curated by Assistant Gallery Director Scott Renfro.

Featured Artists:  Laurie LeBreton, Brandin Hurley, Lauren Brescia, Brittany Kowalski, and Annie Hejny 


ONE WALL 2016 July 8, 2016 - September 2, 2016

ONE WALL returns for its second season on July 8, 2016 and runs through September 2, 2016. The exhibition provides artists with a single white wall to manipulate as they choose. Over the course of eight weeks, four unique installations will transform the space occupied by the wall. This exhibition has 24 hour exposure and can be viewed in the gallery's street level window at any time. 

ROUND 1: INTERSECT ARTISTS COLLECTIVE // JULY 8th - JULY 21st

INTERSECT is a group of artists dedicated to exhibiting and growing together artistically. The group formed in 2012 and meets regularly to critique, share exchange process insight and develop new bodies of work for exhibition.

CAROL HAMILTON: Encaustic, Cold Wax

Hamilton is an abstract artist who works in encaustic. Her pieces express an inner narrative that translates word into image. Her work is regularly exhibited in galleries and museums across the U.S. 

"I am painting adjectives. These works are based on snippet of words. Language is a visual medium for me. Words and phrases are inseparable with images in my mind: the shape of the letters and words and their connotations. I transform the inner words into visible images."

JOE ISACSON: 3-Dimensional Mixed Media


Isacson is a mixed media artist whose work focuses on process, design and the incorporation of symbolic materials. In addition to creating his personal work, Isacson has extensive experience designing site-specific installations for commercial spaces. 

"I primarily work in fragments of thoughts, images, and words, not seeing the full pictures. Rarely do we experience the fullness of the moment we’re in."

JEFFREY SEVENER: Mixed Media on Wood

Sevener’s paintings capture narrative moments in time. Each piece is a snapshot which focuses on a character acting within those stories.

"The language selections offer stories, and each piece is a snapshot which focuses on a character acting within those stories."

KATHLEEN SULLIVAN ISACSON: Oil and Mixed Media on Wood

Isacson is a figurative painter whose work shows the subject in a psychological context. Her pieces focus on making the intangible part of the human experience visible. For over ten years, Isacson has led a team of fine artists to create gallery and large-scale installations in high-impact spaces.

"I love translating writing into image because I feel that storytelling in this way is a primal form of communication that reaches us in our youngest of places."


ROUND 2: PAUL KENNETH // JULY 22nd - AUGUST 4th 

“Of my childhood memories, my fondest time was spent exploring my grandparent's eclectic Minnesota estate. They had countless treasures, my favorite being tintype portraits of family members dating back several generations. Some of the photographs were kept in old musty albums, while others were displayed in a crooked salon style arrangement in their bedroom. To me, time had a way of distorting these images; it made them more than just depictions of people. The portraits whispered to me. 

The ancestors depicted in Curious Kin come from both my maternal and paternal lineage to create a self-realized pictorial history of my origins. My process begins with a rigorous preparation of the canvas substrate. Layer upon layer of medium is slowly built up, then sanded away leaving a velvet-like surface that amplifies the materiality of the paint. The foundation of the image is drawn in pencil and begins as a direct representation of the source photograph. The portrait is then transformed into a drawing-painting hybrid after a precise amount of acrylic is applied. The varied textures undulate between harmonious continuity and intentional self-destruction, consummating the final fragmented likeness.

As an artist with a focus in portraiture I am constantly interrogating the norms and boundaries of the figure painting genre. My painting practice entails equal parts of chance, improvisation, and calculated elements of realism combined to create humorous painting mutations. With determination I strive to depict the variety of forms, both real and imagined, that the human and animal body can conform to. The work that I create has an affinity for the strange, awkward, and grotesque while always maintaining a strong sense of sincerity.”

In the fall of 1985, Paul Kenneth was born in a log cabin nestled in the northern woods of Minnesota. Paul works predominantly in the medium of painting and drawing, but explores fiber arts as well. In 2010, Paul completed his BFA in the Advanced Painting Program from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been included in group shows at LVL3 Gallery, Ebersmoore Gallery, Mana Contemporary, NEXT Art Chicago, and Mountain Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.

ROUND 3: KATE DARMODY // AUGUST 5th – AUGUST 18th 

Kate Darmody is an emerging Australian artist and freelance photographer who is currently living and working in Chicago. Darmody delicately explores the human condition and the polarity of isolation and connection. Her work primarily deals with stories of humanity and unique experiences that occur within society, social structures, the body and the environment. Darmody’s work is inspired by instinct and intuition, nature, spirituality, morbidity, tribalism and the experiential. 

Sydney born, Chicago based; Kate Darmody’s artistic talent was fostered from a young age. In 2009 and 2010, Darmody was awarded a scholarship for National Art School in sculpture. Darmody went on to study Fine Arts and Arts at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, taking a double major in Sculpture, Performance and Installation and Media. Darmody has exhibited extensively around Sydney, as well as internationally in China and Japan. In 2015, Darmody completed further study in Allied Health and then later User Experience Design (2016), where she immersed herself in the study of human behavior. Fascinated by this, much of her interest in human interaction and movement emerges in her recent work. Darmody is currently living and working in Chicago, where she continues her art practice. 


ROUND 4: LISA MARIE BARBER // AUGUST 19th – SEPTEMBER 2nd 

“For most of my professional career, I’ve created large-scale ceramic installations where passive figures occupy dense arrangements as if centerpieces to improvised shrines. While my aesthetic and process have stayed the same, I have cropped down the work over the years, making it easier to transport, exhibit, and store—the mundane practicalities most artists have to consider. (And I'm getting older!)

These smaller assemblages, and all my recent artwork, encompass my imagined, decorative conceptions of home, gardens, peacefulness, playfulness, and celebration. 

My aesthetic sensibility is rooted in Central American Folk Art and the Mexican Catholic shrines of my heritage and upbringing. For most of my childhood in Southern Arizona, this was the artwork I knew and I always practiced making creations in similar ways. Whether it was through my naive interpretation or some forgotten informal training I received as a child, I came to believe that ornamentation and excess denoted value and importance. Materials weren’t required to be “fine” and tools were expected to be simple. Evidence of “the hand” (the maker) was never something to be self-conscience of or craftily removed. Throughout my life, I’ve remained loyal to this style of making. 

My work comes from a mental space that values solitude, simplicity, happiness, and independence. My artworks, while often perceived as busy, complex compositions, are very simple in concept and method. At their heart, they serve as personal meditations on the ease, beauty, and wonder that can outline every day.”

Lisa Marie Barber was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona in a culturally Mexican-American home. While busy as the current chair of the UW-Parkside Art Department, Barber stays active in her studio and values being a practicing artist. Her artwork has been featured in several publications including American Craft Magazine, Ceramics Monthly Magazine, 500 Figures in Clay, and various reviews in publications across the country. I exhibit my work nationally and have held Artist-in-Residence positions at the City University of New York-Hunter College in Manhattan, Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, Watershed Center for Ceramic Art in New Castle, ME, and the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, CA.

ONE WALL runs July 8th – September 2nd and is curated by Assistant Gallery Director Scott Renfro.

Featured Artists: Intersect Artists Collective, Paul Kenneth, Kate Darmody, Lisa Marie Barber

SALVAGED BEAUTY May 22 - June 28, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday May 22, 2015  6-10PM

SALVAGED BEAUTY is a group exhibition featuring local and national artists at Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park. The exhibition opens to the public with an artists' reception on Friday, May 22, 2015 from 6-10PM.

SALVAGED BEAUTY is inspired by the increasing interest in green practices and sustainability as our society begins to moderate the negative impact we have on our environment and surroundings. Repurposed, recycled, and reclaimed materials are quickly becoming the hottest trend in home living. Repurposing and recycling have immeasurable benefits that not only reduce the waste we create but also add a history, texture, and significance into a space.  SALVAGED BEAUTY is about reinvention.  Artists were challenged to re-imagine what once was and construct new life, function, and beauty into former objects and materials.

SALVAGED BEAUTY is a collection of works that already show signs of their own history. These known histories engage the viewer by presenting the familiar as a starting point where much of the storytelling is already in place for a newly conceived narrative. Wayne Bertola's mixed media assemblage works use found objects and images that function as relics of a nostalgic but ambiguous narrative.  They engage the viewer in a dialogue of dislocated materials and images where the outmoded, the ephemeral and the commonplace are gathered together and transformed.

Jody Oesterreicher also channels the creative potential in the ordinary materials of our everyday life.  Her work "Excess Baggage" uses word play to challenge our notions of consumerism and self-knowledge through language and materialism.  

There is a richness and depth of beauty in old and used objects that new materials cannot achieve. For Deva Suckerman the found material is often the starting point but she says, "it becomes about finding a sense of unity between material and image, a space where imperfections, beauty, light and darkness can all coexist. Combining the warmth of distressed wood canvases with elusive and radiant figures creates an unlikely duality. The mood is peaceful and haunting, perfect and flawed." 

In contrast, Walter Early saves orphaned objects sourced from other artists' abandoned projects, donations, or even replicas of existing sculpture.  The pieces began as planar, volumetric constructions made in steel.  Early then displaces them from their original context by crudely cutting into them, leaving jagged edges as evidence of the intervention.  Most of the visual
information has been removed, distilling the form down to the moments in which the original artist made decisions concerning the sculpture's limits. These fabricated relics, such as "Sparsity 4010," are then situated on found and whitewashed furniture for a newly domesticated status. 

SALVAGED BEAUTY runs May 22 - June 28 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Director Scott Renfro, and Gallery Artist Laura Junge.

FEATURED ARTISTS: Wayne Bertola, Walter Early, Deva Suckerman, Tim McNamara, Carrie Ann Schumacher, Jennifer Meyers, Tom Robinson, Jody Oesterreicher, Efren Andre, Sharon Bladholm, Judith Gries, Allyson Reza, Brian Gregory, Kim Laurel, Carol Weber, Cristina Velazquez, Teresa Peterson, Chris Gallevo, Tai Taeolii and Ted Harris.


SEDUCTION January 27, 2017 - March 5, 2017

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday January 27, 2017  6-9PM

Found in nearly every culture, sexuality has been a prominent theme in art. Often pushing boundaries of taboo and ensuing shock to viewers, artists have questioned the normative assumptions of desirable bodies. Erotic displays geared to represent spirituality, fetishism and objectification with satire leave one to feel the “nakedness” of their subject. In a long history of sexually explicit art and now a digital age that has allowed such images to be shared in seconds, our definition and the way we embrace sexuality changes at a constant.


The gallery invited artists from all over the country to challenge the idea of sexuality and in turn was delivered an overwhelming reply. Artists responded with work that was sensual, sincere, ironic, mythical, biological and with an unmerciful view on how society defines explicit art. After a challenging jurying process, it was clear that Seduction would unveil the subtle normalization of eroticism and the sensual nature that can be perceived in a multitude of imagery.  

Artist Michael Coakes, celebrates the sensual nature of sexuality, through precious stolen moments of solitude in a woman’s life, in his new series of photography titled, The Tissage. His imagery displays women when “she’s fully and completely left to herself, no airs and no façade.” Gina Lee Robbins, sculptural artist, takes an alternative approach that is more physiological. Her piece Beyond Darwin, implies a feminine form with access to an interior while Damaged Goods, suggests a penetration or expulsion that is disconcertingly erotic.

Other artists, such as James Mesplé, celebrate a classical narrative that evokes mythological fantasy and a space of underlying sexual agendas. Mesplé displays the tale of Persephone and her abduction by Pluto in Nocturnal Temptation, a tale of sexual desire, obsession, and of course- power.  Ken Wilson, artist behind the collage work of Guarantee Policy, Look Fellows, and Real Flying Models reveals a timeless dreamworld of sensuality. Woven through a multitude of pieces, is a sexiness that begs for multiple viewings and an appetite to unravel some deep hidden mystery. This exhibit embraces the desirable, the vulnerable, the taboo, and the sexual being inside everyone.



UP THE MISSISSIPPI: A Journey of the Blues Sept. 19 - Oct. 28, 2014

NOW EXTENDED THRU OCT. 28th!

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, Sept. 19th, 2014  6-9PM

EXTENDED THRU OCT. 28th!

Up the Mississippi: A Journey of the Blues is an exhibition by Will Armstrong opening Friday, September 19th. This exhibit tracks the history of American Blues music beginning down in the Mississippi Delta. Armstrong then takes you on a road trip, stopping in iconic music cities such as Memphis, until finally reaching Chicago.  The exhibition runs September 19th – October 26th, 2014.

Up the Mississippi is a journey. It starts in rural Clarkston, Mississippi and chronicles the trajectory and popularity of blues music from its roots to eventual decline.  This is an American narrative and Armstrong is the ideal raconteur; he is a passionate musician and host of his own radio show featuring American roots music, blues, and early hillbilly. “[The exhibit] follows time. It follows cities, and some of the pieces are even metaphors for the popularity of blues.” Up the Mississippi begins its visual tale in the 1930s, inspired by the sounds of Robert Johnson, Son House, and Sonny Boy Williamson I. The road begins with James Cotton and Johnny Cash before jumping onto Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train” and ends up in Chicago with Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. One of the final pieces even offers a subtle nod to “The Rolling Stones,” indicating music’s transition into modern times.

 

Similar to his musical inspirations, Armstrong’s visual influences span decades—from the pen and ink caricatures of Thomas Nast, to the graphic novels of Frank Miller and stenciled statements by Banksy. Armstrong’s work has layers of meaning.  He works in mix media utilizing maps and sheet music from the era to set the groundwork for his graphic layers of oil based inks. Vibrant reds, on otherwise monochromatic compositions, signal important moments in the scene. Armstrong explains that these moments are the viewer’s entry point into the painting. It’s where the questions should begin to be asked.

“Love in Vain,” is one of the final paintings in the story and reveals the decline of the blues genre’s popularity. A woman in a red dress catches the viewer’s attention as she stands on the platform watching the train pull away. It’s a metaphor for the waning popularity of blues but “that’s what blues is all about, love lost and love leaving.”

Each composition in Up the Mississippi tells an individual story within the greater Blues’ narrative. Together, they illustrate a journey that is as engaging and layered as blues music itself.  A famous quote by Townes Van Zandt sums up the exhibition perfectly: “It’s all Blues, everything else is just zip-a-dee-doo-dah.”

Up the Mississippi: A Journey of the Blues is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson and Assistant Director Scott Renfro.



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