We are still OPEN EVERYDAY! ...Learn more about our COVID-19 safety precautions

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.

BRINGING SEXY BACK May 11 - July 18, 2018

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday May 11  6-10PM

BRINGING SEXY BACK is an exhibition that seeks to explore human sexuality through the perspective of the artist.  The United States is going through a revolution of sexual awareness that can be attributed to the boom of social media, censorship, open dialogue about sexuality and the influx of online dating. People of all genders are fighting for their right to express their sexuality without objectification. In the piece, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” Robyn Day explains that, “This photo-collage is also a celebration of trans visibility and our changing conceptions of gender and sexuality more broadly.” While many are unapologetically embracing and expressing themselves sexually, others are still striving to be comfortable with this concept. The purpose of this exhibition is to showcase work that engages in this dialogue in a way that is open and accessible.  

Touching on nudity in the public realm, Jason E. Jones states that “freedom of expression stops when it comes to the female being nude.” Jones’s piece, titled “Nude Beach,” details a nude silhouette of a female sunbather. He raises the concern that men are able to be topless on beaches, while women are forced to cover their nipples. Now also encompassed in the “public realm,” social media has furthered this precedent of censoring the female body. In retaliation to social media censorship, the hashtag “#FreeTheNipple” was created in response to the banning of exclusively female nipples on social media. Topless men can readily be seen online, in advertisements, on the beach and walking down the

street, while women are shamed for showing skin. The female nude does make its appearance throughout pre-historic and historic art, however, there are great stretches of time when the female body is covered. The current sexual revolution is fighting to knock down these walls.

Due to the persisting negative association with the female nude in some circles, artists have also been challenged to express sexuality with the absence of the body. Michael Coakes in his piece “Raison D’être” pushes on the current boundaries by alluding to the female form without starkly depicting it. He states, “The yonic quality of the forms within the image have a suggestively sexy implication.” The human instinct to see sexuality in the suggestion of shape has also been demonstrated in art history through Georgia O’Keefe’s allegedly unintentional phallic paintings. Through the power of allusion, one is able to override censorship, and indulge in an image of female genitalia masquerading as a flower.

Samantha Ouvalong in “Knotted” embraces the cultural symbolism surrounding a Chinese brassier and the color red. Ouvalong says, “Red to the Chinese represents happiness, but in Western culture, it represents seduction.” In her photograph she merges these two concepts and puts forth the idea of a contemporary revolution that opens dialogue about sexuality around the world, which has been made more possible due to the internet. 

There are other issues that surface with the regular use of the internet through social media. In her piece, “Not Ready (Leap of Faith),” Lillia Dent touches on the intimidating yet accessible nature of online speed dating. Dent says, “With greater freedoms and possibilities than ever before, navigating this chaotic environment requires one to take much greater leaps of faith in terms of baring oneself (both metaphorically and literally) than previous generations.” This suggests that there is greater emphasis and expectation on sexuality today. Perhaps this is due to hook-up apps, like Tinder, sexual depictions in TV shows and movies or the increased accessibility of online pornography.

Building upon the subject of online expression of sexuality, the artist Margaret Liang highlights the negative boundaries that can be breached when the female body is presented in an extremely erotic way. Liang’s piece is a collection of found pornographic images she transferred to polaroid photos with written captions. She says, “In this work, I chose random texts of men talking about women in sex and wrote them on the bottom of each photograph. In this way, making the whole piece almost journal-like, and, thus, highlighting the seriously problematic fact that sexual objectification of females has become a casual, daily talk between people.” These concerns show the delicate balance between freedom of expression and freedom from objectification that all people face in today’s sexual climate.

These sixteen artists have encompassed the topic of sexuality and its boundaries in their many contexts. Some choose to appreciate the nude form for what it is, while others challenge the viewer to reflect upon their own attitudes towards sexual expression. Our hope is that these works of art will incite conversation not only in the gallery, but on the virtual scape as well.

Artists: Amalia Kouvalis, Benjye Troob, Chris Geier, Domingo Odon, Geraldine Rodriguez, Giuseppe Lupo, Jason E. Jones, Lillia Dent, Margaret Liang, Michael Caci, Michael Coakes, Robyn Day, Samantha Oulavong, Sharon Bladholm, Stafford Smith and Susan Hong-Sammons.

BRINGING SEXY BACK runs May 11th – July 1st and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson and Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.

Artist’s Reception is Friday, May 11, 2018, from 6-10pm. Free to the Public

CHICAGO PERSPECTIVES February 22 - March 10, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: February 22, 2019 6-9PM

CHICAGO PERSPECTIVES is an exhibition that features urban photographs taken here in Chicago, by Paul Kolenda. Each photograph offers a fresh perspective on this great city’s architecture, train system, and weather phenomena.

While growing up in Michigan, Kolenda would visit Chicago often. His love for Chicago brought him here in 1998. Since, he has focused on urban photography. Kolenda says, “It’s like a different world when you see these buildings. What were the architects thinking? What did they do to make everyone want to take a picture of their building? These architects have created a fantasy.” Kolenda prefers buildings that have odd angles which allow him to create abstract images. Featured in the exhibition, is a photograph of Aqua, built by Studio Gang. This particular structure fascinates Kolenda because of its reference to bodies of water and its geometric form counterpointed by curvilinear, organic nuances. Whether Kolenda is traveling or in the city, he takes time to research where he is shooting his photos. His preferred Chicago spots are by the river. Kolenda elaborates, “I like the reflections of the buildings in the water. The architects took so much time to design the buildings themselves, it’s a marvel that they took into consideration how the building would reflect on the environment around it as well.” The El has Kolenda working on his perspective and has driven him to explore more imitate parts of the city. Kolenda typically takes his photos alone, however recently he has been partnering up with different photography groups in Chicago. Because of this, he has had the opportunity to experience the city above the clouds as captured in two photographs featured in this exhibition.

Paul Kolenda’s fascination with photography stems from his aspiration to take postcard quality photographs. Kolenda has been take pictures of his surroundings since he was a child, but has only really been shooting seriously for about 10 years. Since college, Kolenda has traveled the world. The first place to truly inspired him was a spontaneous visit to Fiji. Kolenda recalls the heightened colors of the land and in the water. Kolenda says, “That trip I just had my point and shoot camera and underwater camera. What they captured was out of this world.” Upon his first trip to Morocco, Kolenda realized that the main thing he wanted to capture in his photographs were specific memories. While some of these memories have significance to the artist, the true goal is to instill a sense of that memory and moment in time in the viewer. Kolenda explains, “When living in London I could go anywhere. Traveling has always been a part of my life and seeing all these places, capturing memories, and being able to recall a sense of smell or taste has been my goal when capturing these places.” When recalling his trip to Jemaa el-Fna in Marrakesh, Kolenda says, “The booth I remember the most was owned by a fisherman whose family had been in this one spot for about 80 years. His specialty was fresh fish he would bring in from the coast every morning. The fish he would cook right in front of you and was served with traded flat bread with grilled eggplant on top. I captured these moments and can recall these memories every time I see the photos.”

CHICAGO PERSPECTIVES, exhibits a fresh and unique perspective on the city. Paul Kolenda has expressed his love for Chicago’s architecture and has captured it in the photos in this exhibition. The memories of his experiences guide the viewer through his discerning perspective.


Paul Kolenda

CHICAGO PERSPECTIVES runs February 22, 2019 – March 10, 2019 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson and Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller and Laura Junge.

EARTH, SKY & IN BETWEEN January 19 - February 29, 2018

Laura Lee Junge, James Mesple, Alisa Winston and Robert Koppel

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday January 19, 2018  6-9PM

Earth, Sky & In-between, is a collection of paintings, sculpture and jewelry. The artwork delves in to the subjects of global climate change, conscious and un-conscious connections to the earth and the significance of its materials and matter. This group of artists all connect with these issues, but portray them in their own unique styles. Individually they have their own stories to tell, but collectively form an ecology of earth conscious artists.

Life populates the space between the earth and the sky. Together, we work to drive the cycles of the climate and life that sustain our pale blue dot. James Mesplé approaches global climate change in his paintings by relating them to Greek Mythology and commenting on how the fives senses have been effected. Laura Lee Junge connects her abstracted style to the mind and becoming one with the earth. Robert Koppel views the earth and sky through dreams and tells a story through abstracted shapes and gestural painting.  Alisa Winston has a personal connection to her materials, all of which are from places she has visited. This grouping of work defines current global issues we are confronted with on a daily basis.

James Mesplé – Mesplé’s collection of paintings could be described as mythological narratives echoing themes of collapse and environmental harmony. These detailed paintings are full of symbolism that connects contemporary issues to ancient morals. To add an extra layer of meaning, Mesplé constructs his own mythos through imagery of manipulated stories and an array of different Chicago skylines, which is a recurring theme found in most of his work. In "Pan's Garden, the Five Senses" he features the Chicago Spire, a once dramatic addition to the skyline of Chicago, but never ascended to the sky. He describes the Chicago Spire project as " the one that got away." In addition, he has constructed an imaginary high rise, which is inspired by newer architectural designs. In this piece Mesplé uses multiple techniques to express the five senses. First, in his mythological story, Zeus, Hera, and Bacchus are awakened by Pan’s use of sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight.  Also, he references the senses by his imagery. The sounds of the flute and the smell of the flowers come wafting of the canvas. Mesplé describes this as, "how we experience the world until we make our exit."

Laura Lee Junge – Junge’s body of work is where chaos and order coexist. She says, “my work resides in the in-between, a world that is greatly affected by the butterfly effect, where ‘small causes can have larger effects’.” This concept pertains to her process of creating her abstract paintings. Junge begins by letting the paint flow freely, but by manipulating the paint, the chaos is confined by her control. At that point, the pour becomes secondary to the design, which has a larger effect on the work. While Junge’s intention is to reflect and meditate, one can also reference the disorder and corruption that we see in our world today. The manipulated order reflects the way mankind is coming together to protect our planet.

Robert Koppel – Inspired by the visual poetry of the world he sees around him and ephemeral images from dreams, Koppel creates visual stories of earth, sky, water and time travel. Part of a two-year series, “Looking Through the Water” is derived from an abstracted Florida seascape where the emotions of the world lay beneath the surface of the water. He says his paintings “grow to tell stories like pages of a book.” Koppel uses the narrative of water as the connection point between the sky and earth as a way of portraying the ever-changing way in which others connect to the world.

Alisa Winston – Sculptor and Fine Jeweler, Winston is inspired by travel, the history of materials and the stories they tell. Traveling around the world to find her beads and materials, Winston finds great solace in learning about each stone or handmade bead she collects. In her quest for unique and historically intriguing materials, she has discovered the balancing act of nature-made materials coming from the “earth” and manmade impressions coming from the “in-between.” Both her jewelry and her sculpture, “Life is a Balancing Act,” celebrates just this. Without the in-between, these earth-made materials are nothing more than a rock or a piece of wood. It is up to people to transform these materials into something more beautiful.

This collection of artwork provokes thought as to how we adapt to our world today and how we proceed forward. We are in a time of environmental awareness have a goal of sustainability. Through exhibiting environmentally aware artwork, the gallery hopes to open the conversation to keeping our planet healthy and environmentally stable.

Artists: James Mesplé, Laura Lee Junge, Robert Koppel, and Alisa Winston.

EARTH, SKY & IN-BETWEEN runs January 19th – February 25th and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller, and Gallery Assistant Jordan High.

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.  

GUARDIANS April 2 - May 2, 2021

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents GUARDIANS, its second solo exhibition of 2021. The exhibition features original paintings by local Brian Morgan. 

GUARDIANS, features both new work and old favorites by in-house artist Brian Morgan. Predominately paintings on panel, Morgan’s artworks portray underdogs, the downtrodden, the dirty, and disease infested societal rats. Pigeons are his saints. Crazy old men are his heroes. “When I see a man pushing his hundred-pound food cart up the street I think, how can I make people see how incredible this person is?”

If you have been to the gallery in the past 11 years, you are no doubt familiar with Brian Morgan’s paintings. The metamorphosis of his painting career has been a delight to observe. Chris Jackson, owner of Jackson Junge Gallery, is proud to say, “Brian has been with us since before day one! In the days leading up to the gallery opening he was one of the first artists we took on.” Initially, clients were used to seeing heavily painted canvases full of dark, demoralized figures, but as time went on Morgan began to step away from oil paints for practical reasons. Roughly ten years ago he began to experiment with acrylic and India ink. Morgan’s paintings are figure drawings brought to life with loose and gestural marks, surprising splashes of color, and abstract movement. He paints on wood allowing the natural grain to become part of the art. With wide brush strokes, a palate knife and an old quill pen, he splashes, scrapes and sketches until layer by layer the piece becomes a satisfying symphony of color and ink. Morgan’s love for drawing is an element that has never waned – growing even more important as he moved away from oil painting. “It all started when I began to sketch from life,” Morgan shares. “There was lots of pencil and charcoal work in the beginning. When I started to paint with acrylics I intentionally started painting from life and liked the loose gestural flow of the acrylics, which allowed the drawing to come back.” Morgan’s recognizable India ink line work is now his signature look. But as the viewer will find in his newest work, BLOODHOUDS OF THE ALLEY, he does not employ it as a constant. “I have learned to not stick with any medium just because. It depends on the piece and I don’t want to pigeonhole myself.”

Wood panel is still the preferred surface for Morgan’s paintings, but MY GUARDIAN ANGEL, the featured work in GUARDIANS, is the artist’s first piece in ten years to be painted on canvas. “I saw this piece on canvas from the first spark of inspiration,” Morgan explains. “I tried visualizing him on the wood but could not even entertain it. He needed the white background and it needed to be left alone…I like the way canvas grabs the paint off your brush. Wood is so smooth, the paint slides and the control is different. The experience was very nostalgic.” The subject of the painting—a man who lives at Morgan’s bus stop in Belmont Gardens—is rendered with a look of hardened dignity on his face. Morgan sees this man daily and observes his severity as strength. It is clear the man has gone through tough times; Morgan expresses, “I see their dignity and respect, the disparaged underdogs. Some are living their best lives, lives that are different from society’s view.”

Speaking of the underdog, Brian Morgan’s recognizable pigeon paintings are featured in GUARDIANS as well. FIVE FEATHERED FRIENDS and THE PIGEON KING are two paintings that encapsulate Morgan’s love for pigeons. Morgan views birds, more specifically pigeons, as the ultimate underdog story. Pigeons in cities are considered flying rats, but Morgan finds them to be fascinating and beautiful. “Pigeons were brought to North America during the 1893 Columbian exposition and never left. They mostly flocked to the cities and survived on our trash. Why is a pigeon so filthy? Because of the messy world we have created,” Morgan says. These pigeon paintings will forever be treasured by the people of Chicago for their sly references to the cities character and to the fellow pigeon lovers of the world who cherish the ubiquitous birds.  

The exhibition will also include Morgan’s tribute to Homero Gómez González, a man who grew up in the small Mexican logging town of El Rosario – a community whose economy depended upon the rich resources of their dense forests. The region is also the winter home for millions of Monarch butterflies. “As a child, Gómez González listened to the elders who spoke of the souls of the dead being alive in butterflies, and so he cared a whole awful lot about the Monarchs, and in turn their habitat. He became an environmental activist and eventually the mayor of El Rosario. With the help of other activists lobbying against the logging of the forests, Gómez González was able to convince the town to stop logging and turn the natural resource toward tourism and conservation. He was murdered in January of 2020, presumably targeted by the powerful logging industry for his activism. The El Rosario butterfly sanctuary is now part of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, and the sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

GUARDIANS, features past and present works by painter Brian Morgan. Morgan lives and works in an old bungalow on Chicago’s northwest side with the woman who was crazy enough to marry him, his sweet son that is thankfully nothing like him (and a fantastic writer), a grumpy cat, an odd number of fish, and an Amazon parrot. A handful of the works were created in quarantine this past year, continuing Jackson Junge Gallery’s series of solo exhibition featuring pandemic productions.

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


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. 

POSSIBILITY OF FLYING April 6 - 29, 2018

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, April 6, 2018  6-9PM

POSSIBILITY OF FLYING is a humorous take on contemporary Batik. Irena Saparnis has been practicing Batik for over 25 years. The process never fails to intrigue Saparnis and continues to capture her interest. In the past, Saparnis has referenced her early career in architectural design through incorporating cityscapes, predominantly Chicago, into her Batiks. Traditionally, Indonesian batik incorporates pattern and floral designs.  This year, she found herself revitalizing her bird series, but with a fresh sense of humor. She says, “The idea of the static and heavy bird image decorated with multicolor shapes and dots is like a game to me. I view it to be the vibrations in my brain visualized as a some kind of substitute for the long grey winter. In a subconscious way they have pushed themselves out and onto the fabric.” Saparnis expresses that often batik seems too serious and traditional, so with this new series she hopes to make people laugh and enjoy the process again.

Saparnis’ intrigue with batik stems from her constant curiosity of the unknown. She says, “Batik is all about spontaneity; there is always a possibility to discover more than you put in. It is like two artists working together. The media directs you in such an unpredictable path that the original drawing loses its importance and becomes part of the active background.” Saparnis’ respect for the medium allows her to let it partially dictate her work, however, she challenges the process by finding ways to manipulate and enhance the dying process. The material she dyes onto also has a significant influence on the piece. While she has had success in working with cotton and paper, the traditional material, silk, is her preferred surface. She says, “Silk has more of a shimmer and the color becomes more vibrant, whereas cotton makes everything fuzzy.” In this and past series, she has used this luster to her advantage to create strong contrasts and vibrant color blocking.  

Possibility of Flying is a compilation of all of her newest pieces. Some reflect her bird and flower series’, but others dive into the abstract realm. Saparnis’ curiosity has taken her past traditional batik and brought her into a world of circles and color. She says, “Observing the dye and wax make the lines through cracking has always made my head spin, and I consistently surprise myself in how new and fun the processes is. I have been doing this for over 25 years and I am still excited about it.”

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.

SOUNDS OF MUSIC Nov. 2, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday November 2, 2018  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents SOUNDS OF MUSIC, its fifth and final group exhibition of the 2018 season. The exhibition features 32 works of art in various mediums by Chicago-based artists. The opening will be hosted on Friday, November 2, 2018, with an artist’s reception from 6-10pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

Music and Fine Art are often associated with one another and have inspired generations of artists. Life is a little less fulfilling without these disciplines to guide and stimulate the soul. The human perception of music is subjective, some interpreting sound through color or symbolism. Throughout history, artists have played with this idea to develop ways of evoking feeling and emotion from visual experience. SOUNDS OF MUSIC exhibits works of art that depict the degrees of relationship between fine art and music and the ways in which they influence the viewer.

Each of the 24 artists in, SOUNDS OF MUSIC portray their connection to music in special ways. One of the featured artists, Laura Lee Junge allows the music to influence her entire body of work. “Music has always been a driving force behind the mood when I am painting. I intend to capture the rhythm, intense to soft—whatever I am feeling,” says Junge. Junge’s process is methodical and controlled. However, when she is listening to music, she allows the rhythms to inspire spontaneity in her color and form choices. The artist states that she “can design the entire piece, but it is often more in the moment that the music takes control and inspiration hits.” “The Conduct-Dress,” Junge’s most recent painting, represents her lifetime love for music. In this piece the female figure is transforming into a vortex of instruments and color. Junge has blurred the lines as to where the conductor ends and the music begins, referencing Kandinski’s philosophy of color’s paralleled musical tonality. The music moves through her dress up into her shoulder, where butterflies take flight. She elaborates that the butterflies signify a metamorphosis in her artistic development. Junge’s work has always been saturated with symbolism intended to invoke feeling in the viewer. “The Conduct-Dress” is peppered with motifs of humming birds, butterflies and orchids, each with their own significance. In her youth, Junge’s father was diagnosed with an illness. At his sickest, humming birds would feed from his hands. She has always seen this as affirmation of her father’s unique connection to this world and continues to be inspired by his overwhelming love for music. When asked about the significance of all these symbols, Junge said there was one common factor, “Humming birds and butterflies have this way of dancing through the air. They help create that magical sense that the music inspires. As for the orchid, I have always envisioned the petals dancing down the stem. They too have a sense of movement.” For Junge, music and art have always gone together and go hand-in-hand, creating a story that people can share and experience collectively, yet interpret personally. “I love that people assign their own story to it.”

Paula Loomis depicts the meeting of music and visual art as a collision of cosmic forces in her acrylic painting, “Soul of the Universe.” Loomis states that the “piece represents the power of these mediums throughout time as they have shaped the human soul, connection, and experience.” Eoin Cullen’s sculpture, “The Spider” is a nostalgic reference to the popular usage of the 33 and 45 rpm records. With more efficient recording practices and the cheaper production cost of vinyl records, music became more affordable and more accessible to the masses. Thus creating an opportunity for the development of what would become popular or “pop” music. According to Cullen, the piece “is a reflection of generations and varying associations we have between object and sound.”

SOUNDS OF MUSIC, has multiple pieces that reference musicians who played during the early development of the record industry—Buddy Holly, Louis Armstrong, Freddy Hubbard and John Lennon are just a few artists cited and depicted in this exhibition. In Darrin Patton’s piece “Gunslinga,” he refers to blues artists and how “‘the blues’ is synonymous with Chicago music, and when the blues came to Chicago it became electrified; no one personified this more that the Blues Guitarist or the GUNSLINGA.”

“Close your eyes and listen. Do you hear the colors? Red. Green. Yellow. Swinging. Dancing. Playing in swirls. A million colors emerging from the music,” postulates photographer Frank Styburski. This exhibition is a visual representation of artist’s who see the music. They see it in a way that is unknown to others.

SOUNDS OF MUSIC is a collection of 32 artworks featuring painting, photography, sculpture and installation by 24 local artists. Blending the worlds of fine art and music, these pieces aim to evoke the rhythm and passions in one’s life.

THE FUNK MACHINE March 6 - May 3, 2020

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, March 6, 2020  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents THE FUNK MACHINE, its second group exhibition of 2020. The exhibition features 17 Midwest artists.  The artworks vary in medium from paintings to sculpture. The exhibition opens with an artists' reception on Friday, March 6, 2020, from 6-10pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

Literature, film, music, fashion and fine art have all been influenced by steampunk since the mid-20th century. However, the fundamental inspirations behind steampunk go way back to the late 19th century. Authors like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells wrote inspiring novels filled with steam powered alternative vehicles set in the Victorian era.  While using steam power and adopting the past in order to create a new dystopian future, current steampunk romanticizes the grit of history, while re-imagining these times with sleek sci-fi elements. Artists in all media were encouraged to submit work that pays homage to this once sub-culture, that has flourished into its own pop-culture ideology. THE FUNK MACHINE showcases artworks that takes the viewers into the world of steampunk. 

In this exhibition, the artists take the viewers down their own path of steampunk. Invoking Victorian fashion industrialized with grit and mechanical aspects, works like “Portrait of Ms. Rychter” by Karl Jahnke take the viewer into the artist’s world of steampunk. Jahnke states, “This painting was conceived with a steampunk aesthetic in mind. The reference photo for this painting was shot in the basement of my studio. I wanted dark rusty tones of the basement to compliment the beauty and complexity of the dress and, hopefully, create an exaggerated feeling of elegance set against a crude anachronistic background that is common in steam punk.”

Transitioning from the more Victorian aesthetic into the contemporary look, photographer and digital painter, Nancy Bechtol’s piece “Batty-fang-thrashthru” dives into the surrealist nature of the steampunk movement. Bechtol states, “The Victorian Era, had major problems with rampant drug abuse and alcoholism. Drugs like heroin, opium, marijuana, and laudanum were available and widely prescribed.” Pieces like Bechtol’s portrait of Batty-fang-thrashthru—a fictional steampunk character—exhibit an abstracted steampunk-inspired fashion.

Other works like, “Time for Tea” by Donna Koranek, are a bit more to the point with their steampunk references. Koranek explains the inspiration for this current piece here, “My father was a tool and die maker and I often helped out in the shop. I believe that’s where my love of machine parts came from, steampunk gave me a project for all those bits and pieces I couldn’t resist collecting. This piece began brewing in my mind when I picked up a porcelain doll head from the Evanston Reclamation Center. The teapot sitting on my wood stove seemed like the perfect body. She came together with various treasures I have collected over the years. She sits on top of an old burner and her tea cup contains a few lose watch parts floating in her tea.”

THE FUNK MACHINE, exhibits several different interpretation of steampunk. Brian Morgan, known for his portraits of political dietaries, tends to compare his portraits to the city’s flying rats. Morgan’s newest works, “Rocket Pigeon” (featured in the photo above) and “Steam Punk Pigeon” are comical portraits of post-apocalyptic pigeons. Morgan states, “Like the cockroaches and the rats, these beautiful doves—or pigeons—will out survive us all.”

THE FUNK MACHINE is a comical take on steampunk and each artist guides the viewer along their vision of a post-apocalyptic Victorian era joyride.

Artists: Aaron Wooten, Anna Wasilczuk, Audry Cramblit, Brian Morgan, Bruce Holwerda, Donna Koranek, Edita Birschbach, Gina Lee Robbins, Jake Buntjer, Karl Jahnke, Karina Llegro, K Smith, Laura Lee Junge, Mat Barber Kennedy, Nancy Bechtol, Tai Taeoalii and Tom Robinson

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.

ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL February 1 – March 3, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, February 1, 2019  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL, its first group exhibition of the 2019 season. The exhibition features 23 works of art in various mediums by artists from all around the United States. The opening will be hosted on Friday, February 1, 2019, with an artist’s reception from 6:00 – 10:00 pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

It has been claimed that all politics are local. The Legislated and Executive branches of the United States government are currently at a standstill and numerous Americans are wondering what the future of our great country will be. Many of the current national issues are relevant to the citizens of Chicago, a city that is both known for its great leaders and “windy” politicians. In September of 2018, Rahm Emanuel announced that he would not be running for re-election as Mayor, shocking the citizens of Chicago. A record-breaking number of 15 candidates currently have put their names on the ballot. The prospect of a new Mayor is always an exciting one. The upcoming change of leadership will address and stir the debate about what is best for our great city. This exhibition touches on subjects including the current outlook of the United States, unlawful incarceration, Black Lives Matter, gun control, police brutality, women’s rights, the environment, immigration, big business development, and LGBTQIA rights.

One of the 14 participating artists, Alfonse Pagano, has expressed his outrage and shock regarding the state of affairs in our country by creating his series, “Rush to Relics”. Pagano expresses that,Relic is my interpretation of the recent violations of the Constitution and destruction of vitally important programs in the United States as it relates to and impacts the common citizen under the Trump administration. In my deconstruction and manipulation of the American flag, I intended to transform the flag into something physically and emotionally separate from its previous pristine, iconic state, distinct from its origin, as a way to express the current toxic political climate.” Pagano’s flags are first distressed, aged, and torn apart; then reconstructed in three-dimensional form. Pagano says, “These manipulations take the flag farther away from its crisp, clean, and pure state.” The American flag is a symbol that artists have drawn from for decades. In 1989 artist, Dread Scott displayed his piece, “What is the Proper Way to Display a US Flag?” at the Art Institute of Chicago. This piece was an opportunity for people to stand on the American flag while leaving their comments in a book. Like Dread Scott, Alfonse Pagano has taken our highest symbol and gives the viewer an opportunity to consider what it represents.

While the American flag holds a place of honorable representation of the United States, abandoned prison buildings symbolize the darker side of the country. After the closure of Joliet Correctional Center in 2002, the prison opened its doors to public tours. The disrepair depicted in Anne Evan’s photograph, “Cell Block,” references a decaying system that unjustly puts away falsely convicted individuals and nonviolent drug offenders. Evans states, “while photographing inside the shuttered Joliet Prison, I started thinking of all the people incarcerated falsely over the years. It seems every several months, I still read in the local news the stories of innocent citizens being released from prison after being falsely accused of crimes they did not commit.” It is the hope that the new Mayor of Chicago will work with the police to not incarcerate nonviolent drug offenders and will encourage these powers to instead focus on more important matters at hand.

Further touching on the topic of police power, Tiphanie Spencer’s painting, “Don’t Shoot” addresses the senseless shootings happening throughout our country, specifically white police officers shooting unarmed African Americans. Spencer elaborates on her piece, saying, “here the scene takes place in Chicago, with a police officer represented as a wild dog with gun in hand, while a deceased, dapper African American gentleman comes back from death pleading for this violence to stop and for people to listen to his story. His hands are up, referencing the protest chant ‘hands up, don't shoot.’ His eyes are ‘stop’ media buttons, and his mouth consist of a 'play' and 'pause' media buttons, symbolizing the need for people to pause and listen. Chicago, which is painted gold to represent the sanctuary city, shakes and is shaken by the dramatic events it continues to witness. The frame around the piece is an homage to Keith Haring, who dedicated his life to the ideals of equality and social justice.” The new mayor of Chicago will have the issue of police brutality to deal with immediately upon taking office. It is the hope of many Chicagoans that the new Mayor will face this challenge head on and end the injustice and corruption we have seen for years.

While hope for change is strong with Chicagoans, there is also a residual sense of skepticism from years of the same political cycle. Laura Lee Junge represents this mistrust of politicians who say what their constituents want to hear during elections then act upon their own agenda once elected in her painting, “Monkey Suite.” She expresses her hope that elected members act in good faith, but also depicts the temptation to take advantage of power and be swayed by less virtuous forces, calling it all a circus act. Keeping the voices of the people heard can be difficult when faced with this power, making protests a key part of Chicago’s fabric. People take the streets in Kaitlyn Hwang’s watercolor, “March for our Live Chicago Skyline,” and in Denise Poloyac’s series of protest photographs. These works of art show Chicago’s will for change; and, as a collection, ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL demonstrates the passion for a better future both in Chicago and in the United States of America.

ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL is a collection of 23 artworks featuring works from 14 different artists. All artworks reference the important issues that our upcoming mayor will soon face. Between the ousting of Ed Burke and alderman elections, Chicago really has a chance to choose how it proceeds into the future. Even on a national level all issues have a local consequence, but local politics are the first step in a path to national influence.  


Alfonse Pagano, Anne Evans, Brian Morgan, Denise Poloyac, James Mesple, Kaitlyn Hwang, Kelly Mathews, Kelly Witte, Laura Lee Junge, Mark Nelson, Nancy Bechtol, Peter Broitman, Richard Laurent, Tiphanie Spencer

ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL runs February 1, 2019 – March 3, 2019 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller and Gallery Assistant Jordan High.


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.

IN THE 'HOOD November 10, 2017 - January 14, 2018

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday November 10, 2017  6-10PM

In the ‘Hood is a visual representation of Chicago’s physical and cultural vastness. Chicago’s rich history extends beyond the Loop and into the surrounding communities. This exhibition showcases artwork from 30 different neighborhoods that are an impactful representation of the North, South, and West Sides as well as Downtown and the Lakefront. These depictions take the form of an array of media from photography and painting to sculpture and works on paper.

The Jackson Junge Gallery represents local artists from all over the city and the world. We take pride in housing up-and-coming artists in addition to locals. The initial concept for In the ‘Hood was intended to represent our home neighborhood, Wicker Park. From there we thought to expand the exhibition to represent the whole city with the assistance of local collective, Women in Focus. Acknowledging the diversity and importance of every neighborhood in the city is a core mission of this show, as well as gaining perspectives of the city from a diverse group of artists.

About the Women in Focus Neighborhood Project

From glittering architecture to gritty backstreets, ethnic soul to everyday urban moments, the latest group project by Women in Focus – Chicago (WIF), captures the lively spirit of our beloved city through a collective feminine eye. Launched in June of 2016, the project singled out one iconic Chicago neighborhood each month for a year for interpretation by member photographers. Seventy-two images representing the twelve neighborhoods have been curated by two well-known experts on both photography and Chicago neighborhoods, former Sun-Times picture editor Richard Cahan and former Chicago Tribune photojournalist Charles Osgood; both of whom have also contributed to a number of photography books featuring Chicago neighborhoods.

About Women in Focus Chicago

Women in Focus Chicago is an artist-initiated organization of women photographers who have joined together to support and promote the photographic arts. An Illinois non-profit corporation, Women in Focus Chicago provides opportunities for its members in an environment that fosters creativity, knowledge sharing and connection within the creative community. Another important aspect of the group's mission is community outreach. Members volunteer their photographic talents to worthy causes every year, with special emphasis on education and encouragement for women and children. With the Neighborhood Project, the group will establish an annual scholarship/grant fund.

Additional exhibitors include members of Chicago’s Plein Air Society and other select artists from the city.

In the ‘Hood runs November 10, 2017 – January 7, 2018 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller and Gallery Assistant Jordan High.


OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday June 8, 2018  6-9PM

NOSTALGIC PERSPECTIVES, is a collection of paintings that depict a nostalgic view of Chicago’s cityscape and society. Wooten draws inspiration from his own Chicago neighborhood, Rogers Park, old photographs, post cards from the 1900’s and philosophy. The depictions of Rogers Park are all from memory, which illustrate the neighborhood from a resident’s perspective. The paintings of downtown are inspired by old photographs and postcards, he says, “I pick the post cards with the most attractive angles, which typically are from a building’s perspective.” Wooten has a keen interest in philosophy, and has found inspiration in the deep realms of philosophical thought and writing. While his paintings do have theoretical undertones, he tries to keep them lighthearted and amusing.

Wooten went to Hunter College in New York to study film. After working on several documentaries, he moved to Columbus, Ohio and finished his degree at Ohio State University. While in Columbus, Wooten started to paint, exploring subjects of cityscapes, political cartoons, portraits, pretty girls and nudes. At that time, he wasn’t painting just for paintings sake; he was using his art practice for therapeutic purposes, primarily to battle depression. Painting allowed him to acknowledged his depression by letting it inspire his characters, vintage maude color pallet, and nostalgic settings.

NOSTALGIC PERSPECTIVES centers around bygone citiescapes of Chicago. Wooten captures cities as if they were ephemeral memories, ever-changing both in structure and the people in them. It is for this reason that introversion is so prevalent in cities. Cities are a space of functional order that keeps people distant and lack social interaction when you most expect it. Philosopher, Simone Weil, one of Wooten’s primary inspirations, touches on this sentiment in her quote “distance is the soul of beauty.” Wooten’s cityscapes exemplify the merging of function and beauty through the quiet nature of his paintings.

Wooten has been mentioned in The New York Times, Chicago Reader, Red Eye, Art & Beyond and a number of other national and international arts magazines and journals. He has contributed to the Chicago area art scene for thirteen years.

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.

PUBLIC SPACES May 3 – June 23, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday, May 3, 2019  6-10PM

Artists: Ali Six, Ava Grey, Czr Prz, Enivo, Jim Bachor, Jordan Miller, RenO Franczek, Storm Print City, Tony Passero and YAMS

PUBLIC SPACES exhibits an amalgam of artworks created in the studio by artists who are known for making their primary body of work in the public domain. Many are muralists who have left their mark all over the world. Others produce work out in the public domain, utilizing aspects and elements of those public spaces to make their art. Each artist has found their niche out in the public and have brought their work into other avenues. Many have street art and studio work that often connect. Ali Six, Ava Grey, Czr Prz, Enivo, Jim Bachor, Jordan Miller, RenO Franczek, Storm Print City, Tony Passero and YAMS have all brought their passion for street art and performance painting into a space different from others. With the creation of the new Chicago mural registry it is an exciting time for muralists and street artists as well as artists making work in public spaces. In the gallery’s own neighborhood, the WPB Mural Registry managed by the local Special Service Area #33 was used to help source Wicker Park muralists for the exhibition.

Ali Six:

Ali Six is a Chicago based street artist. Inspired by his mother, Ali Six grew up drawing cartoons. During his teenage years Ali Six worked to learn more about typography and graffiti culture. His desire for “street cred” and sense of adventure inspired him to begin his nocturnal journey. Known for his cartoon character Richie the Raccoon, Ali Six’s murals featuring Richie and other iconic and nostalgic characters can be seen all over the streets of Chicago. After almost a decade of making art on the streets, Ali Six continues to represent Richie on the streets and in galleries. When asked about his piece, “A Roof Over Your Head” his response was, “I came across the Street sign randomly walking home and, given its aesthetic, I figure it would go well as the background for my work. I’ve made my way through out my life various ways as an artist but a struggle for me while doing graffiti as a teen was my household. My mother disagreed with my life style and at times wouldn't let me under her roof at night, so public spaces, including the CTA, were my home for a night’s rest.”

Ava Grey:

Ava Grey is an artist duo comprised of Caesar Perez and Nick Glazebrook – a partnership that seamlessly weaves their individual visions and talents. Nick has a background in architecture and had a computer animation company for 11 years before following his passion to create with his hands and become a sculptor. Fueled by a mutual desire to create larger, more intricate works of art, Caesar and Nick started working together 6 years ago and have evolved their crafts and techniques to create art iconic to their own combined styles.

Czr Prz:

Caesar Perez is a multi-faceted urban contemporary street artist, illustrator and go-to taskmaster for the imagination. A hyper-creative, Caesar’s 20-year career has peppered the globe with various works. Although born and raised in Chicago, his stories have touched countless locations from America to Europe through works like large-scale murals, interior and exterior installations, paintings and sculptures as well as events and photo/video shoots in which he served as a creative director. His work is very thematic and in a constant flux, changing from urban landscapes to elements of nature, down to abstractions of tangible objects. Even when transitioning between mediums, his work still maintains techniques from years of illustration, painting, and design, leaving a signature style that is visible regardless of the subject matter. Much of his influences lie in varied art forms from Classical Renaissance and Impressionism to more modern genres such as graffiti and graphic novels.

For PUBLIC SPACES, Czr Prz is exhibiting two of his most recent paintings along with Ava Grey’s sculptures made from broken skateboards and used spray paint cans. The decks were all shredded on Chicago streets and skate parks, collected at local shops like Uprise and Prosper. The spray paint cans have all been saved from murals painted in Chicago by Ava Grey’s team as well as other artists in the community that wanted to see their paint cans immortalized into art instead of adding to the country’s waste problems. When asked about these materials Ava Grey stated, “We love transforming these used up tools of creative expression into lasting works of art that juxtaposes these urban materials into natural figures in new ways that celebrates the culture around us, and inspire others to be more thoughtful about how we treat our planet.”


The “Red Brand” series by Marcos Ramos Enivo was created to illustrate and criticize the influence that “Big American Brands” have on the daily lives of people around the world. Primarily in the world’s metropolises, the desire to possess these material items have been fetishized due to pop culture and brand recognition. The human figures at the center of each piece represent a few of the many cultures influenced by these “Red Brands.” The unity and mixture result in the creation of a new global culture. At the age of twelve, Marcos Ramos, Enivo, started his career as an artist. Since, the streets of Sao Paulo have been his canvas with his powerful murals expressing his ideas, passions and questions for the future. Each series is created as a means to find new ways of voicing his messages. With every new series Enivo experiments with new techniques and embraces spontaneity. When asked about his process Enivo answered, “All of the changes to my style and experiments I do to make my paintings are portals towards making new forms. My inner-consciousness, technique, and expression are all a transforming cycle. Each new series takes on what I and other artists have done before and is a step forward to new findings.” In addition to his “street” presence, Enivo has performed in many public campaigns, designed showrooms, currently teaches and is a founder and partner of the A7MA Gallery, where he works as curator and Gallery Director.

Jim Bachor:

“Trying to leave your mark in this world fascinates me. Ancient history fascinates me.” After volunteering to work on an archaeological dig in Pompeii Jim Bachor’s two interests merged. In the ancient world, mosaics were used to capture images of everyday life. These colorful pieces of stone or glass set in mortar were the photographs of empires long past. Marble and glass do not fade. Mortar is mortar. An ancient mosaic looks exactly as intended by the artist who produced it over two millennia ago. What else can claim that kind of staying power? Bachor finds this idea simply amazing.Using the same materials, tools and methods of the archaic craftsmen, Bachor creates mosaics that speak of modern things in an ancient voice. Bachor states, “My work locks into mortar unexpected concepts drawn from the present.

By harnessing and exploiting the limitations of this indestructible technique, my work surprises the viewer while challenging long-held notions of what a mosaic should be. Like low-tech pixels,hundreds if not thousands of tiny, hand-cut pieces of Italian glass and marble comprise my work. This work is my mark.” In this exhibition the gallery will have Jim Bachor’s book, “The Pot-hole Book.”

Jordan Miller:

Jordan Miller is an interdisciplinary and conceptual artist based out of Chicago. His work looks somewhere between streetlight and starlight, investigating the nuances of our relationship to contemporary constructed light environments. Some works invite reflection or celebration of our command over light, while others offer criticism of the systems, structures, and networks that form and signify this complex relation and the consequences of living within these lit environments. Miller questions, “As we over-light our word, what is lost when darkness is conquered?” His pieces may range from complex spatial installations to paintings, photographs, works on paper, and walking scores. Simply walking down the street one is subjected to a luminous tableau of light-text, from humming neon to imposing light boxes and now the scrolling, flashing, dancing LED displays and digital screens that have become synonymous with 21st century storefronts. Streetlights bathe our paths in a saturated, multicolored glow that, in conjunction with the lit signage, transform our movement through constructed spaces into phantasmagorias and immersive experiences of color, light, and shadow-play. Following the Light: A Pedestrian Signal Dérive was one of Miller’s first attempts to have work navigate a different path in relation to light and how we actively experience it on a daily basis by creating a walking score that utilized literal guidance from pedestrian crossing signals to move through the city. North State is a documentation of all of the text and language observed as light along Chicago’s North State Street on the evening of December 1, 2015, recorded in print in a small book.

Miller earned his Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he had previously completed his Post-Baccalaureate Certification. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of North Texas' College of Visual Arts and Design.

RenO Franczek:

Originally from Calumet City, RenO has lived and worked in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood since 2000. At the age of ten, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and then Ankylosing Spondylitis in his early 20s. As a result, he has used art to express the difficulties of living with these conditions. For the last 19 years, he has worked in healthcare and creates paintings, sketches, and sculpture in his free time. “Portrait Live City,” along with others, were painted live at The Note during their hip/hop nights. At the time, there were a lot of happenings on location during events.  The goal of the artists involved was to bring the art of plein air painting to the people. RenO expresses, “It was an exciting time to listen to the music and DJs, paint with friends, dance, and meet people from all areas of Chicago.” When asked about his inspiration, RenO responded “I’ve always felt that there is a similar parallel with the impressionist painters who brought their easels out of the studio and into the light of nature. In the 21st century it’s a different time, and for me when I painted, it was more about being encompassed by the energy of the ‘scene.’ Music is always my salvation or muse in times of struggle—I'm very intrigued with music's multilayered expression and its ability to literally resonate with the vibrancy of life. When painting these pieces, I wanted to attempt to control and experiment with color so that it coincides with the flow of different music to reflect a unique and modern image of vitality and energy.” RenO's work blurs the line between the figurative and the abstract.

Primarily a self-taught artist, RenO took drawing and painting electives while completing a Bachelor of Arts in Biology/Chemistry. Much of his knowledge of art history or technique came from reading books and asking questions. He was especially influenced by the style and essays of Jean Dubuffet, whose theories include a focus on what he called primitive imagery and using unconventional elements to create art depicting everyday life.

Tony Passero: 

Tony Passero is an American contemporary mixed media artist, author, filmmaker and muralist who splits his creative time between his Chicago and Orlando based studios. Passero not only paints on traditional canvas but also uses a wide variety of found random objects (such as abandoned furniture, discarded doors, scrapped street signs, etc.) and unique surfaces (metal, wood, fabric, etc.) as the base for his works. Passero’s work is often executed in a series or set format as he explores themes through repetition. Generally, Passero’s artwork is centered on a unique mash up of Latin, Creole and indigenous tones blended with a bit of a linear, cubist and expressionist styles. Those paintings are covered with patterns, text and codes of all kinds, including words, letters, numerals, ephemera, pictograms and symbols. With each new theme undertaken, Passero makes a point of exploring different and new painting techniques to aesthetically complete and complement each project he engages. From a public and commissioned art perspective, Passero has created installations and painted murals at a wide variety of locations such as “The CoyWolf Mural” on Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail.

Passero’s career started when he founded the advertising agency TribeAgency in 1998. He has served as lead creative director and CEO of the company over the last 20 years, employing many leading designers, technologists and strategists. Passero is also a celebrated graphic designer in his professional career as Creative Director of TribeAgency. He has created work for Baxter, BP, Chicago Fire, Dreamworks, Sony Music, Manchester United, Major League Soccer, Chicago Gateway Green, Sears, and Taco Bell along with many other local, national and international companies and brands.

Storm Print City:

Russell Muits’ ongoing body of work, Storm Print City, began in 2007 in Seattle, Washington. Since, he has traveled to over 50 American cities and has created five hundred plus unique prints on canvas. Muits has found that the people he meets and the thrill of discovering and learning about these overlooked objects is what has inspired him most. Muits expresses, “I'd like to continue to inspire others to look at their neighborhoods in a different light and maybe to find their own creative path.” “The Prize” was printed during Art Prize last year (2018). Each day of the first week, Muits’ sought out eight different antique utility covers. Once all the covers were printed, Muits hung “The Prize” with his other prints in the rafters of Founders Brewery.

Muits studied advertising and design at Hussian College in Philadelphia in the late 90’s. In 2006, he re-located to Seattle where he admired his first sewer cover. After a year, Muits couldn’t get the cover out of his mind he says, “I grabbed some crude materials and made a print that night. I had not that excited about something creative since college a- it was tangible, I could feel it, smell it, see the nuances, fonts, etc.... and I fell in love.” He is still a graphic designer by trade and spent the last 10 years as a freelancer with a couple full-time stints - both of which made him realize he needed to be on the road and in the streets.


Yams is a Chicago based artist primarily focused on public murals and paintings on canvas and or wood. His process is intuitive, discovering imagery as he creates and destroys portions of his work. With a 20 year background as a graffiti writer, Yams uses spray paint as his primary medium while incorporating techniques based on traditional forms of oil painting. He has practiced both classical and contemporary art while studying painting and printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated with a BFA in 2005. Over the past 10 years, YAMS has acted as a co-curator and participating artist helping to organize numerous murals and exhibitions throughout the city of Chicago. YAMS plans to continue to focus on his studio practice while continuing to spread his unique imagery on walls both locally and internationally.   

PUBLIC SPACES runs May 3, 2019 – June 23, 2019 and is curated by Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.

RED March 9 - May 6, 2018

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, March 9, 2018  6-10PM

RED, is a collection of artworks that explore the possible expressions and readings of the color red. Though red is a primary color and thus cannot be created by mixing other colors, the hue has an amalgam of associations. Red can represent courage, heat, passion, sexuality, anger, light and in some cultures happiness and good fortune. The artwork presented speaks for itself, however red always evokes strong feeling. RED invites viewers to probe this diverse plane of possibilities through a variety of artistic forms and ideas. 

Red’s journey begins at one end of the visible light spectrum, projecting toward matter and reflected back to us as a primary color, alongside blue and yellow. In art history, red ochre, which makes one hue of red pigment, has been used since humanity’s earliest inceptions of art and was utilized as early as the caves of Lascaux. 

In this exhibition, artist Kim Laurel predominantly employs such primary colors. Laurel says, “I love primary colors, and always think of traditional Eastern pallets of red and black. Red, blue and black are the basic start to most of my work.” Our sensory reception and subsequent recognition of the hue comes from interactions of light and material. Yet we also exist as matter inundated by red light. This light, now mostly artificial, guides us through our daily lives in subtle ways. The exit sign in every building, the stop light or crossing signal you see on every corner; red drives us physically and psychologically. Jordan Miller’s work, EXIT #13 (Blacking out the excess), expresses a desire to examine the inundation of light, particularly red exit signs, and challenge, remove or “blackout” the overabundance of constructed light in our environment. He says, “We look to red light for information on a daily basis; open signs, exits, neon signs, street signals. We often do not pay attention the connections between our spaces and the way we light them or how that affects our behavior or our physiology, especially in terms of things like the loss of sensorial darkness.” 

Similarly derived from our understanding of red light comes the expression, “red hot;” when something becomes so hot it produces its own red light. The Introspect conveys this by seeing a solitary nude figure is a study basking in warmth. This piece exemplifies the notion of color as temperature. The artist, Irina Parfenova explains that, “the arabesque red line on the body emphasizes the inner warmth, energy and a sense of life radiating from a static figure engaged into her own feelings and thoughts.” The solitary tone engulfs the viewer and inspires introspection. Red can move one from this warmth induced meditation to complex expressions of the psyche.  In Cross Words Julia Ris uses red to convey her conflicting emotions “inspired by inflamed words exchanged with a family member, an incident that transformed the dynamics of family activities and interactions. The painting represents the spewing of words uttered in anger.” In Carol Hamilton’s encaustics, she posits that “red is the color of the soul (or at least my soul). These two paintings, Little Red and Portal are inspired by the day to day experiences and the connection to my soul.  Little Red is that moment of contemplation when clarity begins to break through, which is represented by the small points of iridescent aqua.” All three of these artists utilize the color red to convey and communicate their personal emotional and physical experiences. 

On a more social level, some Chinese cultures feel that red symbolizes luck, happiness and joy. Red is the color of summer and wards off evil. When traveling in China, Jim Storrs found inspiration when photographing the wishing trees. Red Ribbons captures the anticipation of a wish being granted through an image that conveys hope. In Help, by Sophia Adalaine Zhou, the ribbon is a symbol to raise awareness. She says, “Here, red is used as a metaphor, representing both vitality and the emotion one feels when in dire need of help.” In both cases a red ribbon symbolizes hope and the anticipation of something better to come on the horizon. 

In fact, it is on the horizon that red make one of its most beautiful appearance as it colors the setting sun through Rayleigh scattering. As darkness rises, the gaze stretches beyond our pale blue dot, past our neighbor Mars–the “Red Planet”–to other solar systems, some orbiting red giants or red dwarf stars. Even hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is bent back to us in gaseous tubes to produce the red neon signs so familiar to our cities today. Red is everywhere. 

Artists: Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Barbara Lipkin, Carol Hamilton, David Gonzalez, David Moenkhaus, Elaine Coorens, Eric Cooney, Errol Jacobson, Frank Styburski, Irena Parfenova, Jason Michael Bently, Jennifer Kling, Jim Storrs, John Greiner, Jordan Miller, Julia Oehmke, Julia Ris, Kenneth Marier, Kim Laurel, Lilla Dent, Matthew Coglianese, Michael Coakes, Paul Rung, Richard Laurent, Sara Peak Convery, Sophia Adaline Zhou, Stefanie Weidner, The Red One and Wendy Love.

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.

IN THE 'HOOD November 10, 2017 - January 14, 2018

INSIDE OUT January 18 - February 17, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, January 25, 2019  6-9PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents their first exhibition of 2019, INSIDE OUT, showcasing artworks from artists Errol Jacobson and Stephanie Weidner. The opening will be hosted on Friday, January 25, 2019, with an artist’s reception from 6-9pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

Both plein air painters, Errol Jacobson and Stephanie Weidner, explore the differences and similarities between en plein air painting and studio painting. These two painting styles have been practiced for generations, but it is well known that the early masters preferred the studio because they were able to control the environment and spend more time with the subject matter. During the mid-19th century, artists ventured outside for the natural light. During that time, the spontaneity of the light and weather challenged the artists to work quicker and, thus, emerged the impressionist style. INSIDE OUT is an exploration of these two styles and challenging the viewer to see the differences between studio and en plein air painting.

Errol Jacobson is a Chicago based artist who works in oils. Jacobson paints both en plein air and in his Chicago studio.  His paintings are known for their atmospheric quality and somewhat moody feel.  He attempts not to overwork or finely render his paintings leaving much for the viewer discover and enjoy on their own.   Jacobson is open to discovery and artistic growth by incorporating experimentation whether it is with design, materials or paint application, all in order to produce new, interesting and truthful paintings. He has recently devoted himself to painting cityscapes attempting to capture the energy, vitality and spirit of the city.  He sometimes paints recognizable landmarks but often paints overlooked areas and other aspects of the city.

Stephanie is a Chicago contemporary realist painter.  Her preferred medium is oil and she includes everyday objects in her still life compositions. Weidner finds beauty in those objects but is aware that those objects often go unnoticed in one’s space. Her goal, is to make the painted image more intriguing than the object itself.  Weidner challenges herself by simplifying the amount of detail needed to make a painting come to life.  Additionally, she paints en plein air where she focuses on light and contrast and the challenge of making a flat painting surface "pop" with dimension.

Both Errol Jacobson and Stephanie Weidner live in the Bucktown neighborhood on the north side of Chicago with their two cats, Cecil and Toulouse. Jacobson and Weidner received training at the renowned Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts located in Chicago.  Jacobson has studied independently with master painter,s further honing his skills as an artist and currently teaches plein air painting at the Palette and Chisel passing on to others what has been generously given to him. Weidner received her Bachelors and Masters in Architecture at the University of Illinois, while taking many art related classes. Both are members of the Chicago Plein Air Society. 

INSIDE OUT explores the two styles of en plein air painting and studio painting. Errol Jacobson and Stephanie Weidner bring these two traditional styles of painting into a contemporary setting. Each artist makes every day scenes and objects special and relevant to our daily life, specifically here in Chicago.

Artists: Errol Jacobson and Stephanie Weidner

INSIDE OUT runs January 18 – February 17, 2019 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.

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.”


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 

ONE WALL 2019 July 12 - Sept. 7, 2019

The popular ONE WALL rotating exhibition presented by the Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park, returns for its fifth season on Friday, July 12, 2019 and runs through Friday, September 6, 2019. ONE WALL is exactly how it sounds, one wall. 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 ONE - July 12th – July 25th

David Krzeminski

David Krzeminski is an artist/graphic designer living in Chicago. Krzeminski graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BFA in Visual Communication in 2009 and is currently working as a full time graphic layout specialist and part time abstract artist. When asked to embellish about his work, Krzeminski said, "My fine art is mostly an exploration of high-contrast abstract drawings. Free-form lines, dots and shapes are combined with ridged grids and geometric patterns to create pieces that are randomly drawn, yet highly structured compositions. Mostly created as black and white ink drawings, select pieces are also translated into screen prints using high contrast fluorescent and vibrant colors." Krzeminski's piece for ONE WALL will be his largest composition to date and creates an optical illusion effect as your eye moves across the canvas. Although the piece's composition is created using a square grid, the squares can appear to wave or look uneven. Simple bright colors contrasting against each other in this specific pattern can cause your brain to become confused as it keeps trying to simplify or "correct" what your eyes are seeing. Krzeminski enjoys playing around with abstract patterns that create optical illusion effects, such as this. Krzeminski states, "I like to think of optical patterns as a sort of reminder that nothing is always as it seems. Your mind can play tricks on itself, skewing your perception of reality. In this world of nanosecond attention spans, sometimes it's important to stop and try to fully understand what is right in front of you before you let your resting brain do all the fast assuming."


ROUND Two – July 26th – August 8th (Opening Reception is the First Friday of Wicker Park Fest)

Ava Grey & Czr Prz

Ava Grey:

Ava Grey is an artist duo comprised of Caesar Perez and Nick Glazebrook – a partnership that seamlessly weaves their individual visions and talents. Nick has a background in architecture and had a computer animation company for 11 years before following his passion to create with his hands and become a sculptor. Fueled by a mutual desire to create larger, more intricate works of art, Caesar and Nick started working together 6 years ago and have evolved their crafts and techniques to create art iconic to their own combined styles.

Czr Prz:

Caesar Perez is a multi-faceted urban contemporary street artist, illustrator and go-to taskmaster for the imagination. A hyper-creative, Caesar’s 20-year career has peppered the globe with various works. Although born and raised in Chicago, his stories have touched countless locations from America to Europe through works like large-scale murals, interior and exterior installations, paintings and sculptures as well as events and photo/video shoots in which he served as a creative director. His work is very thematic and in a constant flux, changing from urban landscapes to elements of nature, down to abstractions of tangible objects. Even when transitioning between mediums, his work still maintains techniques from years of illustration, painting, and design, leaving a signature style that is visible regardless of the subject matter. Much of his influences lie in varied art forms from Classical Renaissance and Impressionism to more modern genres such as graffiti and graphic novels.


ROUND Three- August 9th – August 22rd

Jordan Miller

Jordan Miller is an interdisciplinary and conceptual artist based out of Chicago. His work looks somewhere between streetlight and starlight, investigating the nuances of our relationship to contemporary constructed light environments. Some works invite reflection or celebration of our command over light, while others offer criticism of the systems, structures, and networks that form and signify this complex relation and the consequences of living within these lit environments. Miller questions, “As we over-light our word, what is lost when darkness is conquered?” His pieces may range from complex spatial installations to paintings, photographs, works on paper, and walking scores. Simply walking down the street one is subjected to a luminous tableau of light-text, from humming neon to imposing light boxes and now the scrolling, flashing, dancing LED displays and digital screens that have become synonymous with 21st century storefronts. Streetlights bathe our paths in a saturated, multicolored glow that, in conjunction with the lit signage, transform our movement through constructed spaces into phantasmagorias and immersive experiences of color, light, and shadow-play. Following the Light: A Pedestrian Signal Dérive was one of Miller’s first attempts to have work navigate a different path in relation to light and how we actively experience it on a daily basis by creating a walking score that utilized literal guidance from pedestrian crossing signals to move through the city.


ROUND Four – August 23th – September 6th

Alex Peyton-Levine

Alex Peyton-Levine moved to Chicago in 2015 to receive her Master's Degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Peyton-Levine grew up considering art mostly as a language and tool, rather than an object-oriented practice and states, "Inevitably, I have maintained this relationship to making art, wherein I am more concerned with what my work is saying rather than what it looks like. For me, art has always been a way of looking into myself. I have pursued this career because I embrace the selfish nature of being human, in that our own bodies and our own minds are the fundamental lenses through which we can see the world, and we rely on each other to communicate about our unique experiences and to share what we know. As an artist, my aim is to use my art to engage in conversation." Peyton-Levine is known for her multi-media practice and will adjust her materials and methods to address the circumstances surrounding the space.

Working with paint, fabrics, flowers, plastics, paper, wood, found objects, often evokes feminine power.

(Sourced from: http://voyagechicago.com/interview/art-life-alex-peyton-levine/ )


ONE WALL runs July 12th – September 6th and is curated by Assistant Gallery Director, Kaitlyn Miller.

Featured Artists: David Krzeminski, Ava Grey & Czr Prz, Jordan Miller and Alex Peyton-Levine

THE NOTION OF MOTION March 20 - May 17, 2015


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


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

ONE WALL / ARTWEAR July 13 - Sept. 7, 2018

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's Receptions are Friday, July 13, July 27, August 10 and August 24, 2018 from 6-9pm, Free to the Public.

The popular ONE WALL rotating exhibition presented by the Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park, returns for its fourth season on July 13, 2018 and runs through September 6, 2018.  ONE WALL is exactly how it sounds, one wall. 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.

This year the Jackson Junge Gallery presents, ARTWEAR a rotating wearable sculpture instillation. This exhibition references the fundamentals of jewelry, with the spirit of fine art sculpture. Over the course of 8 weeks, this exhibit will change four times to feature four different jewelry case installations.

Artist reception, free to the public, will take place on the opening date of each instillation. Eight artists were selected to participate in these exhibitions with work spanning a variety of themes and mediums: 

ROUND 1 -  July 13th – July 26th

ONE WALL: Samuel Schwindt “Untitled X-Ray Instillation 1”

"Untitled X-ray Installation 1" is a commentary on the dueling concepts of intimacy and detachment. At once the skeleton imaged in the x-rays are intrusive, but also only reveal a universal structure we all share. These beautiful, intimate portraits relay the basics of the human anatomy and what connects us as human beings. Recovered from an auctioned storage unit in Indiana, the x-rays are scans of various patients from a closed hospital. They range from chest x-rays to legs, wrists, etc. The identity of each individual patient has been removed, and what is left is a duality between the coldness of a mechanical image, and a portrait of what, in part, makes us human. The installation also asks the questions, what happens when images of our bodies go to auction? What makes us, us, and at what level, are we unique creatures?

Samuel Schwindt is an interdisciplinary artist who seeks to tell stories. Whether acting as journalist, philosopher, teacher, historian, or creator, his work utilizes storytelling as a material and concept and is expressed through language, color, form, and light.

ARTWEAR: Stefani B

Stefani B is best known for merging past and present in her original pieces, which echo the historic treasures she's studied in the towns and temples of Europe and Asia. In her newest collection, relics, she embellishes small antique vessels and pendants, collected during her travels, adding gold, silver and a variety of gems, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces that are exquisite and singular. Stefani B believes that "beautiful things should be enjoyed, not stashed in a drawer for special occasions." To that end, her creations are dramatic and definitive, intricate and understated, witty and extremely wearable...and each piece features only precious and semi-precious stones and metals.

Stefani has contributed to Chicago's fashion industry for several years as an Associate Professor in the Fashion Marketing and Management Departments of several local colleges and has co-authored two books, the award-winning In An Influential Fashion: An Encyclopedia of 20th Century Designers and Retailers Who Transformed Dress and The Why of the Buy: Fashion and Consumer Behavior. She also owned and operated ONE PLUS ONE boutique, which featured a line of private label knitwear she created, as well as a carefully curated selection of innovative jewelry and accessories.

ROUND 2 – July 27th – August 8th

ONE WALL: Russell Muits “Under the L,” “Chicago Street Iron” & “Richard’s Corner”

Russell Muits’ ongoing body of work, Storm Print City, began in 2007 in Seattle, Washington. Since he has traveld to over 50 American cities and has created 500 unique prints on canvas. He has found that the thrill of discovering and learning about these overlooked objects and the people he meets is what has inspired him most. Muits expresses, “I'd like to continue to inspire others to look at their neighborhoods in a different light and maybe to find their own creative path.” 

Muits’ ONE WALL instillation is made up of 3 canvas prints, “Under the L,” “Chicago Street Iron” and “Richard’s Corner.” “Under the L” is an amalgam of maintenance hole cover prints. Each print represents the different L lines in their corresponding colors and were printed at either one of the stops or under the line itself. Then, the final prints are marking where the Jackson Junge Gallery is in Wicker Park. “Chicago Street Iron” is made up of prints from Milwaukee Ave and neighborhoods, Irving Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square and Wicker Park Bucktown. The final piece has 4 prints of the same coal hole cover, manufacture by Richards & Kelly Co., located on a random corner in Bucktown. While making the first print, a man named Richard, who lives cattycorner to the cover, gave a history of the neighborhood to Muits. Turns out that the cover was in front of, Richard’s bar, a local staple, for years, so to continue the tradition, Muits named this piece, “Richards Corner.”

Muits studied advertising and design at Hussian College in Philadelphia in the late 90’s. In 2006, he re-located to Seattle where he admired his first sewer cover. After a year, Muits couldn’t get the cover out of his mind he says, “I grabbed some crude materials and made a print that night. I had not that excited about something creative since college a- it was tangible, I could feel it, smell it, see the nuances, fonts, etc.... and I fell in love.” He is still a graphic designer by trade and spent the last 10 years as a freelancer with a couple full-time stints - both of which made him realize he needed to be on the road and in the streets.

ARTWEAR: Katie Netti

Katie Netti is an ethical taxidermist combining the traditional practice of taxidermy with art and jewelry, raising questions of agency and source ethics.  All of the specimens used within this body of work are made from animals that were killed by vehicle collisions, poison, window strikes, etc.  Nettie aims to explore the relationship between humans and animals, examining the presumed rights over their lives. Netti says, "The moral and social ethics involved when sourcing animal parts or materials for art objects is an integral part of my creative process." Netti raises the notion that concerns for wildlife are overshadowed by human personal comfort. Additionally, she states, "certain species' lives are federally protected and valued, while others are regarded as a 'nuisance' and targeted." By working with the remains of once living beings, Netti's work faces the value of life head-on. She explores these conflicting feelings while preserving the beauty of discarded nature.


Katie Netti is a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Sculpture department.  She previously ran a production studio in Chicago and taught Fine Art's in High School for 11 years.  Her current practice questions the world between traditional taxidermy, contemporary art, and the Anthroposcene. 

ROUND 3- August 9th – August 23rd

ONE WALL: Lindsey Liss

Lindsey Liss is a creative creator, intuitive, idea incubator, love generator, bad energy terminator, speaker of truth, ego slayer, light sabor, knowledge collector and self-inspector. She is a poet, designer and artist. 

Liss says, “Evil and hate thrive on silence. If you are not actively sharing love, you become a part of the hate narrative. The use of language and light as a medium shares empowering ideas of protest against the hate in our world and the proliferation of love as a healing and nourishing agent.”

ARTWEAR: Steven Clarke “Smooth Sailing”

Steven Clarke's digital sculptures are explorations of balance, the forces and curves of water. His series, Smooth Sailing, combines the ephemeral and reflective quality of water's surface with the solidity and strength of stainless steel. The Pendant Necklace from this series is meant to be both art and worn in everyday life. The design is fluid and minimal contemporary in nature. This, along with the strength of stainless steel, makes his work last a lifetime. He has designed the necklace to evolve with the wearer by making the cord easily changeable over time.

Steven Clarke received his BA in Architecture at Miami University and studied Film and Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he explored water and digital surfaces. The Smooth Sailing Pendant Necklace is part of the UIAX collection 3, and was a semi-finalist in the 2017 International Inspirelli Design awards. The remainder of the collection includes a Chair, Table, Light, Wall Panel Rug and Vase that share a singular design language. Clarke is currently a Lighting Designer at Gwen Grossman Lighting Design.

ROUND 4 – August 24th – September 6th

ONE WALL: SKP – “One Strange Character”

One Stranger Character is a pop-up shop inspired creation by chicago local artist, SKP. Inspired by anatomy, mental illness, dreams, and oddities alike, the ONE Wall instillaition will feature originals, limited edition prints, and small merchandise available for purchase. SKP invites the viewer to take a glance at this pop-up style installation where every strange character is made to feel right at home. One Strange Character is a SKP’s current collection that is a compilation of the reflections of her mind and all of her inspirations over the course her past and present.

SKP received her undergrad from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied painting, drawing, printmaking and instillation. Since, she has been curating while working with local art galleries, collaborating with other local artists, and discovering her own artistic practice.

ARTWEAR: Caridá Cirå Diaz

Diaz earned her degree from Rhode Island School of Design. Since she has been working as a designer of wearable sculpture and interning with design firms around Chicago. She has an excellent eye for detail, which translates into her beautifully embellished necklaces, which will be the highlight of her instillation.


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

ARTWEAR runs July 13th – September 6th and is curated by Gallery Assistant, Jordan High.

Featured Artists:  Samuel Schwindt, Stefani B, Russell Muits, Katie Netti, Lindsey Liss, Steven Clarke, Sasha Perez and Caridá Cirå Diaz.

CUFFING January 24 - March 1, 2020

OPENING RECEPTION: January 24, 2020 6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents, CUFFING, it’s first group exhibition of 2020. The exhibition features artworks by sixteen artists around the United States.

With the Holidays and New Year in the rear view mirror, we find ourselves in the midst of Cuffing Season! CUFFING, Jackson Junge Gallery’s first group exhibition of 2020, pays homage to this cultural phenomenon. The seemingly millennial occurrence fools no one... since the dawn of time, couples have turned to each other for warmth, comfort and seasonal fun when the days grow darker and colder. Urban Dictionary defines “cuffing” as the moment when “people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves, along with the rest of the world, desiring to be tied down by a serious relationship.” CUFFING explores these desires and exposes the intimacy and inevitable end to this “thirsty” time of year.

Diving right in to the heat of “cuffing season,” K Smith’s photograph, “On the Kitchen Table,” features a woman on a table in easy access to her partner. Smith shares her story, “He lived in a three-room apartment.  It had two windows. It felt like a cave. It was in the back of a welding shop that was closed on the weekend.  We could scream in orgasm freely.  We did. When we met he asked, ‘Shall we winter together?’” Exhibiting an akin feeling, Anitra Frazier’s painting, “Fire We Make,” portrays two people creating their own heat during cuffing season.  This feeling is expressed through her hot color choices and expressionist painting style. The implication of “cuffing season” encourages exploring each other’s bodies on a more intimate level. “Netflix and Chill” was born in the chill of the winter while couples binge the new Netflix series and each other. Darrin Patton says, “What is cuffing without stimulating touch and adulation of the naked body?” Through collage and painted imagery, Patton’s piece explores the desires and need for sexual exploration during this time of year. David Decesaris’ paintings, “are all about desire, lust, passion and love. I think they also share the feeling of warmth felt, on a cold day.” Decesaris’ paintings perfectly explore the intimacy and lust that surrounds cuffing a new partner. This is achieved by creating a sense of awkward desire… Of course, the easiest “cuffing” partner is an ex, but often this new and temporary partner was met at Halloween or shortly thereafter when the season begins to change. Thus, creating a sense enthusiastic exploration while remaining cozy.

Kurt Kreissl’s painting, NO. 748, “Depicts losing one's self completely in the moment; fully surrendering and dissolving into the intensity and passion. I reflect senses from the whole world of change and refract them into our own- light becoming breath; response becoming sensuality; lust becoming intimacy; physicality becoming spiritual ecstasy.” This description fits this piece to a tee. Wrapped in their own world of desire the bodies portrayed in this mixed media piece dreamily depict the feeling of desire and ecstasy. Cuffing season encourages exploration, which Samuel Schwindt’s piece “FRESNEL PLEASURES” draws upon through the use of compelling material combinations. The work “explores the lens’ ability to be a stand in for the body. The yellow lenses make it bodily and queer, with the harness implying a kinky sense of pleasure.” One seems to never be cold during “cuffing season” due to the constant skin to skin contact; the tactile nature of Juan Arango Palacios’s tapestry, “Embrace” evokes the sensation of being wrapped and weighted down with your partner. Palacio explains, “Woven on a floor-loom, this tapestry depicts two contemporary queer lovers in a moment of intimacy. The tapestry is made by joining together two separate weavings. The two weavings being stitched together resemble the two bodies coming together. Their hands grasp one another right at the seam of the two weavings. A gentle kiss is the only thing separating these figures. This piece utilizes clothing and material that is common among today's queer community's club scene-- cheetah print, neon colors, and shiny metallic clothing. This is a community that actively partakes in and celebrates the phenomenon of 'cuffing season.'”

Inevitably there is at least the one lusty partner that doesn’t realize they have been caught in the ever complicated web of Cuffing Season… Annually humans have entered into the season and are duped into thinking that their over attentive partner has the intention of continuing their intimate affair longer than the winter months. Christina Ivelisse Morris created a piece that expresses this emotion flawlessly. The acrylic and neon flip phone she created, “speaks on loneliness, heartbreak, and disappointment - with an emphasis on nostalgia and looking back to the past. These are feelings that can either lead up to, or subsequently become the result of cuffing. We can't ignore the emotional aspect of sharing our vulnerabilities with other human beings.”

CUFFING is a collection of eighteen artworks featuring painting, photography and sculpture by sixteen American artists. Exhibiting the multi-faceted visual and conceptual interpretations of issues around the cuffing season. 


CUFFING runs January 24 – March 1, 2020 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.

IN THE HOUSE OF COLOR February 7 - March 1, 2020

OPENING RECEPTION: February 7, 2020 6-9PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents IN THE HOUSE OF COLOR, its first solo exhibition of 2020. This exhibition features paintings on both panel and paper by M Jackson, created at her studio here in Chicago. 

M Jackson, also known as L Lee Junge, has been hailed as an ‘intoxicating' new talent on the American artistic front.

A fascination with movement typifies much of Jackson's artwork, which ranges dramatically from floral and inanimate renditions, to the worlds of musical expression or evocative, often jaded bar scenes.  No matter what the depiction, the fluidity of her work channels an energy that seems to defy the very nature of a one-dimensional canvas.  In this exhibition Jackson has altered her “In the House of” mindset to focus on “The House of Color,” or the theory that different colors, lines and shapes provoke a range of different emotions in an audience. 

Over time, her paintings have become more eclectic, in a style that critics have described as ‘surrealistic expressionism'. Jackson, herself, remains a bit skeptical of any attempt to label her in a specific category.  Not one to be tied to a single form, Jackson has been experimenting with new mediums such as air brush and spray paint. Incorporating found objects as stencils, some of her favorites include pieces of gates and objects that she has been collecting for years. The “shadow” remains from a spray paint stencil are also of particular interest to an artist who practices fluidity and motion.  In her search for artistic excitement Jackson has embraced texture by layering thick areas of impasto on panel before picking up her paintbrush, thus creating a more tactile painting. Additionally, in her search for further depth and dimension Jackson has brought in other found objects such as a deconstructed clock to accentuate her fascination with three-dimensional painting.

The inspiration for IN THE HOUSE OF COLOR stems from a passion for new artistic horizons. Experimenting with fresh forms of abstraction, Jackson has explored a new approach to her paper pieces. Allowing for a more flexible and oftentimes smaller surface than her usual large compositions these works challenge Jackson in a new way.  Fascinated by color theory, Jackson’s focus lies with two of the primaries, blue and red. She is interested in the way that people are drawn to certain colors and the way those colors create energy and set a mood.

In her own words, “When one asks why or what it is that I paint, the answer is very simple. I paint because I must and I paint what I feel. My inspirations are energy and movement and I strive to capture these as I explore various subject matters; it is my goal to touch the emotions of the human spirit.”

Both panel and paper works will be on display and available for purchase during the exhibition.

TIME March 15 – April 28, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday March 15, 2019  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents TIME, its second group exhibition of their 2019 season. This exhibit features 20 works of art in various mediums by artists from around the world. The opening will be hosted on Friday, March 15, 2019, with an artist’s reception from 6-10 PM. Admission is FREE to the public.

Time is a thought-provoking concept due to its many definitions and interpretations. For this exhibition, artists were encouraged to bring forth their own understandings of time. The concept of time has been the subject of study in many different fields, including the arts, sociology, geology, biology and physics. When defined as a noun, time is “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). In this exhibition, the artists’ discussion revolves around time as an illusion, time’s effect on human life and time in regard to the environment.

In an attempt to solidify time as a measurement, the calendar and clock have been used to document human experience in history, the present and an anticipated future. Though one is able to observe “time” by monitoring the mechanical arms of a clock or by watching the sun / moon move across the sky, that physical movement as a measurement can be interpreted as an illusion that is not so easily numerically defined. Iwona Duniec visualizes this thought in her painting, “Lost Time.” Duniec states, “this painting represents the theory that time doesn't exist and is an illusion. No observer has knowledge of a distant event, or the simultaneity of different events until they are unambiguously in that observer's past.” Duniec’s painting portrays a free-floating, deconstructed clock suggesting that the clock is creating an illusion of time. When telling time with clocks, we are looking for a specific fleeting moment in time and often disregard that that moment has already come and gone. We have created these machines for “accuracy” but as living beings, we cannot comprehend that accuracy to its fullest.  It can only function with simplified and approximate measures. However, we rely on this accuracy to make appointments, meet deadlines, and catch public transportation. For example, since 1871, Grand Central Station in New York City has witnessed many people crossing each other’s paths. In her piece, “Time Travelers,” Federica Ghidelli has taken a time laps photograph of Grand Central Station. She observes, “the time has stopped there. People are still looking at the main clock before catching the train. People still rush to the platform. People are still emotional while saying goodbyes and waving their hands. People still hug and laugh while welcoming someone back. People are still brushing against each other just for a split of a second. The station remains today a place of transit and still reminds us of the many men and women of the past who walked on the same pavement.” Ghidelli like Duniec, questions how time captures the human experience and whether or not time is ever flowing or is a manufactured illusion that tracks our experience.

In conjunction with man-made measures of time, a person’s lifespan is another tool for marking time. This perspective of time naturally evokes personal reflection on one’s life and memories. Memories are created by connecting with others and are re-lived in storytelling. Physically, time is observed through both the aging of living beings and the changing structures on Earth. Michelle Boggess’s piece, “Memories of Marigold” depicts an elderly woman peering over a fence at a young boy smelling the flowers she offers. Boggess explains, “this painting symbolizes how time can pass by and act like a wall between then and now. Sometimes so much can change that it might feel like an entirely different world. While the young boy smells the elderly woman’s flowers, a little color appears in her eyes and attaches itself to her grey world.” The passage of time can often be overlooked until one is in their later years reflecting on their youth. But what about living in the present? Ken Clark’s piece, “A Propos De Nice” is a time laps photograph of a profile swinging back and forth, which symbolizes how human kind often focuses on the past and future. Clark says, “Time is like a pendulum. Swing one way it is the dreams and aspirations. Swing the other way it is the memories. In between these two extremes is the present.” If people are to truly live in the present moment, they often “lose track of time.” This poses a question of how often one actually lives in the present and does not reflect on the past or anticipate the future.

Time measured through the observable changes in the Earth has captured the interest of many scientists and artists. Scientists have been able to determine the age of our planet by radiometric dating meteorites. The Earth is over 4 billion years old. In the 200,000 years that humanoids have been on the planet, we have observed through our own eyes and through research how the Earth has changed over time. One way that humans have accelerated the transformation of the planet has been by depleting the earth of its natural resources. In Tom Duffy’s piece “Where Have All the Forests Gone?” the viewer can see a double exposure of the forest in the past and the deforestation equipment as the present. Duffy says, “South Central Indiana is a hilly richly forested area, but it also is the location of the best limestone in the country. The limestone from this area was used to build the pentagon, National Cathedral, Empire State Building, and almost half of the state capital buildings, among many other structures and homes. The financial benefit of the limestone has far outweighed saving our natural forests, so we find continuing conversion of forests to deep quarries as reflected in this photograph.” The continued use of limestone, with disregard to the deep scarring that it creates, plays into the historical precedent as a grand building material throughout history. This obsession with using natural resources that have been on this planet long before we were and with living up to our past accomplishments, shows our continued need to re-create our past in the hopes for a “better” future.

Time is endless. However, in our world today, time is considered one of the most valuable assets. To visualize and experience different interpretations of time, the exhibition TIME will inspire one to explore further investigation into their own understandings and how one values their own time.   


Alexandra Buxbaum, Caren Helene Rudman, Chalda Maloff, Chloe Topf, David DeCesaris, Federica Ghidelli, Iwona Duniec, John Greiner, John Zajac, Juliann Wang, Ken Clark, Laura Lee Junge, Michelle Boggess, Nguyen Tran, Paula Loomis, Philip Lindsey, Tim McNamara, Tom Duffy

TIME runs March 15, 2019 – April 28, 2019 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller and Gallery Assistant Jordan High.

SALT TO SAND April 12 - May 5, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday, April 12, 2019  6-9PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents SALT TO SAND, its second solo exhibition of 2019. This exhibition features paintings by Benjye Troob, created at her home studios on Cape Cod and in Arizona. The opening will be hosted on Friday, April 12, 2019, with an artist’s reception from 6-9 pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

SALT TO SAND is an exhibition that features paintings from Cape Cod and Scottsdale, AZ. These two places are where painter, Benjye Troob, seasonally lives and is inspired by. Originally from New York, Troob’s artistic career blossomed while living in Chicago. Troob’s style has evolved from predominately working with the figure to a free flowing impressionist style. SALT TO SAND, brings both places together in a way that shows the similarities and differences in these two diverse environments.

Benjye's vision is equally inspired by the light and landscapes of the Cape and the desert. When asked to embellish on her creative process, Troob states, “I start by laying down the colors until I begin to visualize shapes. At that time, I use charcoal to define the landscape and start to layer from there. I started my career by working predominantly with the figure and have learned to gesture draw as opposed to sketching. These paintings can be all about movement and are done quickly so I can paint plein air and not get caught up in my head.” Troob uses vibrant and pastel colors, rhythmic movements and overlapping shapes throughout most of her pieces, inviting the viewer into an exciting and expressive world of art. Troob has expressed that the main difference between each place is the light. On the Cape, the light is soft caused by the ever present humidity, which results in her unique perception of her use of colors. Troob takes advantage of this natural phenomena and paints with different shades of green, blue and yellow that flow through the landscape and create the impressionist look she is known for. In contrast, the desert air described by Troob is dry and crisp. Her aired paintings define the plant life and skies that take on the desert colors. “The Painted Desert” is visualized well where she lives and influences the prominent usage of orange and ochre. The hue of the orangey-red sunset reflects purple, another prominent color in Troobs paintings, thus creating warmth throughout the painting.

Troob attended The Art Students League of New York, and while in Chicago she remained an avid student of “life figure drawing.” She has shown her works at Lotton Gallery on Michigan Avenue and H. Marion Studio in Wilmett, IL. Troob’s work is displayed both commercially and in private collection throughout the United states and Europe. Now, Troob is represented by Jackson Junge Gallery.


Benjye Troob

Salt to Sand runs April 12, 2019 – May 5, 2019 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson and Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.

Artist’s Reception is Friday, April 12, 2019 from 6-9pm. Free to the Public

BLUE September 20 – October 20, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday September 20, 2019    6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents BLUE, its fourth and final group exhibition of the 2019 season. The exhibition features 50 works of art in various mediums by artists from all over the United States. The exhibition opens with an artists' reception on Friday, September 20, 2019, from 6-10pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

Blue, one of the three primary colors, has evolved over time to symbolize an array of definitions. Leaning more towards green or violet, blue appears everywhere in our daily lives. The color of the sky, bodies of water, stones, various flora, and the like have inspired creativity for millennia. Not only does this hue appear in a tangible capacity, it is also used in association with abstract and ephemeral descriptions such as sadness, tranquility, death and inspiration in an amalgam of ways. 

The term “feeling blue” dates back to the early 1800’s and has been an expression often used to describe one’s sadness and frustration with their immediate situation. History and current events parallel the never-ending cycle of peace and strife. Currently, the world is experiencing the reality of global climate change. Richard Laurent expresses his anxiety at this current situation in his painting Great White Hope. Laurent states, “This painting is from my climate change series that address the issues that literally make global citizens feel, well, blue. Arctic forms literally haunt me–these silent sentinels that have millions of micro biotic wildlife teeming beneath them.”

Art making is an excellent way of expressing one’s emotions. Anitra Frazier’s piece Sometimes it Pours expresses the artist’s depression and anxiety by depicting a self-portrait in different shades of blue. When feeling the blues, it is a common practice to do ones best to lift the spirits. Jason E. Jones’ painting Fly Away IV illustrates hot-air balloons rising into the sky. The balloons themselves are different shades of blue with little bits of bright color. When asked about his piece, Jones stated, “After receiving a Kidney transplant in 2015 and recently, as of this year, being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, dealing with life can be a traumatic experience. During that process you find yourself to be a little down in the dumps where all you want to do is ‘fly away.’  You find yourself in a blue mood but you also find you are not alone. There are many people going through their own life experience and looking for the same freedom as you.” Picasso’s blue period is arguably one of Picasso’s most famous bodies of work and exhibits his low emotional state at the time. That blatant expression of the color blue depicting sadness has inspired monochromatic paintings like Blue Moon Mood, the painting featured above. RenO’s painting characterizes with a palette of blue, the concepts of depression, captivity, dementia, and nightfall.  

Blue is one of the most mature of colors and is seen as infinite. Take the sky and ocean for example; the color blue is vast and appears boundless. Blue, unlike yellow can be mixed with other colors and always be present. Blue implies infinity and eternal rest. Cynthia J. Lee’s encaustic painting Memento Mori is named after the Italian phrase meaning "reminder of death" or a reminder of our mortality.  When asked to speak more about her piece she stated, “This painting was inspired while I hiked trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I became profoundly aware of how fragile life is in the wild, and wondered how many lives were lost there when someone lost direction, ran out of water, broke a bone, was bitten by a snake or attacked by something larger.  It was a humbling experience!  I chose a deep blue in this painting to capture the fear and sadness which often accompany thoughts of death, and to convey the vastness---like ocean or sky---of what lies beyond our lives in this world.” Samuel Schwindt says of his piece Elysium 1, “This work literally and figuratively embodies the theme of blue…it plays with references to the body and the afterlife (souls rising to the sky, into the heavens of blue) with material choice and color. Blue is the color of death in this piece, the color of the body in the afterlife. It is a layered sculpture of form and meaning, layers of stories of the bodies examined in the x-rays — morphed, challenged, and complexed by the materials of lenses wire mesh, and test tubes. The piece is testing its boundaries, exploring blue and its layered history.”

Inspiration materializes in unexpected ways; however, color is often the most inspiring thing around us. The sky on a clear day, the sky on a cloudy/stormy day, the vastness of lakes, seas and oceans. Blue inspires artists like featured artist, Laura Junge. Junge’s, M. Jackson abstract series encompasses the profound power and meaning of the color blue. Junge’s love for expression through physical activity and music has inspired her paintings for years, she states, “When laying out my color pallet I let music determine which colors and tones to use, inspired by intense to soft rhythms. Blue and red are often the most dominate colors in my paintings.”  Junge’s process is methodical and controlled, however, when she is listening to music she allows the rhythms to inspire spontaneity in her color and form choices.

Carol Hamilton’s silver leaf encaustics are a part of her Breathe series. Hamilton states, “These two works explore the concept of contemplation, meditation and balance.” The “dots” on Hamilton’s encaustic Breathe, spell out the word “breathe” in Braille. Although they are not readable in the sense they cannot be felt, they are there just as the inscrutable cosmos is always “there.” Others are inspired by others famous works of art. Blue has been a common motif and often makes an appearance in the Post-Impressionist colorist era. Derek Walter’s piece Blue Window depicts, “Matisse's early abstraction where he was turning three-dimensional space into a painted canvas.  I am reinterpreting his painting and rendering it through ceramics.” Other cultural references, like Julie Rivera’s piece Shades of Tranquility, show her love for the depths of the color blue. Rivera states, “I love the history associated with indigo. My piece is a contemporary take on Japanese Boro. Combining the shades of indigo and handwork brings me peace.” Kim Laurel investigates symbolic forms and shapes, specifically, icons and totems with sociological significance. Cultural icons explore the associations of figurative images and objects. Laurel states “I love making images with animal, plant, kimono and kite icons. Blue is one of my favorite colors and is always a strong element of color and form in my work. I love primary colors. Blue is a color of emotions: joy, hope or sadness, to name a few.”

Blue Lagoon (Tranquility Disrupted) by painter, James Mesplé is a play on Chicago’s current events. Mesplé was inspired by this summer’s resident alligator in Humboldt Park. Mesplé states, “The tranquil beauty of the Humboldt Park Lagoon was disrupted this summer with the appearance of an alligator – quickly dubbed ‘Chance the Snapper’ by the media. The story of the alligator and its capture went viral and made national news for over a week. My painting depicts both the alligator and the Native Spirit of the Lagoon, whose blue tranquility was disturbed by the event. I imagined the lagoon as a stage for a mystery play veiled in midnight blue.”

BLUE is a collection of 50 artworks featuring painting, photography and sculpture by 35 American artists. Exhibiting the multi-faceted visual and conceptual interpretations of the color blue.  


Carol Hamilton, Cristinia Velazquez, Cynthia J. Lee, David Decesaris, David Moenkhaus, Derek Walter, Dimitre, Faye Earnest, Fletcher Hayes, Helen Dannelly, James Mesplé, Jason E. Jones, Jill Sutton, Jim Storrs, Joan Mclane, John Stillmunks, Julie Rivera, Kelly Mathews, Ken Tremback, Kevin Connaughton, Kim Laurel, Kristi Sloniger, Kurt Kreissl, M. Jackson, Paula Loomis, Pearlie Taylor, Peter E. Russell, RenO Franczek, Richard Laurent, Richard Sperry, Rita Dianni Kaleel, Ryan Blume, Sam Arnold, Samuel Schwindt, Smith

BLUE runs September 20, 2019 – October 20, 2019 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller and Gallery Assistant Maia Bussolo.

Artist’s Reception is Friday, September 20, 2019, from 6-10pm. Free to the Public


BLUE September 20 - October 20, 2019

Group Exhibit

A CHANGE OF MIND October 25, 2019 –January 5, 2020

A CHANGE OF MIND by Laura Lee Junge, is a retrospective of her iconic genres encompassing past and present artworks. Not only is Junge a Chicago based artist, but also co-owner of Jackson Junge Gallery. Through years of exhibiting throughout the country, Junge has established herself and an intoxicating talent on the artistic front. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Junge has become an influential female figure in Chicago’s prominent art scene. Junge explains, “Over the past 10 years my paintings have evolved. The way I think about life and art has changed. I have grown as a painter, yes, but more importantly this exhibition shows how much my mind and way of thinking has changed.”

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!”


“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.


“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.”


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.”      


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.”


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


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.”

A WELL WORN PATH December 4, 2020 - January 17, 2021

ANGELICIES November 15, 2011 – January 15, 2012

A Look At the Modern Day Angel

When one hears the term “angel”, chances are that person already has a pre-conceived notion of what an angel looks like, what it embodies, and immediately ascribes a meaning.  Jackson Junge Gallery challenged Chicago artists to bring forth the image of the modern day angel in a group exhibit titled “Angelicies”.  Throughout time, artists have consistently searched for different ways to evaluate what they think an angel might truly look like.  The standard winged being that we have come to know is not necessarily what the artistic interpretation is going to yield.

Angelic figures inhabit the worlds of more than just the religious.  In fact, it was recently found that one in five people, who are not religious, believe that they have a guardian angel!  The meanings of angels and what they are to different people offer many different interpretations and ideas or imaginings.  Art has been a great proponent of attempting to illuminate what the mind has difficulty in expressing. “Angelicies” attempts to embrace all forms of expression of the idea of angelic beings or qualities. 

“The holidays always seem to evoke music and imagery that fill Chicago with the presence of angels,” said Chris Jackson, director and co-owner of the Jackson Junge Gallery.  “Seeing more imagery of angels at this time of year gets people thinking about their existence more readily.  It seems like a great time to bring the idea to the forefront of the Chicago area.”

The artists provided works of many different media and variations on the theme of angels.  From the more traditional aspects of angels to an urban interpretation, “Angelicies” provides the audience with a platform for viewing the analysis of each artist’s perspective on angels.

Artists contributing to this exhibit include: Scott Becker, Sharon Bladholm, George C Clark, Laura Coyle, Audry Cramblit, Dimitre, Bronwyn Elkuss, Martin Giese, Judith Gries, Michael Goro, Connie Hinkel, Laura Lee Junge, Ausrine Kerr, Kevin Lahvic, Richard Laurent, Laura Lein-Svencner, Cathy Bruni Norris, Tom Robinson and John Pranica.

In the spirit of the holiday season, guests are encouraged to bring canned/dried, "non-perishable" food items to the gallery, which will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  Donations will be accepted through December 31, 2011.

Exhibit Highlights:

“Angelica,” L. Lee Junge: With signature style of movement and color, Laura Lee Junge captivates the audience with her brushstrokes as much as the figure she has painted does with the harmonies one can imagine are coming from her violin.  “Angelica” stands with instrument in hand as the animated characters of fellow instruments dance around her and are part of her in the same instance.

“Voyage de Nuit,” Michael Goro: Voyage de Nuit examines a contrast between modernity and history within one scene. The contrast is introduced through the juxtaposition of New York urban themes and Renaissance painting presented by manipulated photo plate depicting Piero di Cosimo’s Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci. The print provides the full spectrum of techniques, which include etching, engraving, aquatint, mezzotint and photogravure.

“My Angel,” Kevin Lahvic:  The simplified form of what is clearly an angelic figure occupies a plain field of deep red.  Surrounding this is the repetition of familiar symbols that create a framework pattern around the figure. 

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

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.”

EUCLID July 6 - August 2, 2020

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday July 17, 2020  6-9PM

FLOWERS OF THE PANDEMIC November 6 - 29, 2020

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents FLOWERS OF THE PANDEMIC, its fifth solo exhibition of 2020. The exhibition features seven original paintings by local RenO Franczek. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of every individual on the planet. To say that human kind has been overburdened by the paradigm of chaos would be true, but at this moment in time, to strive for perfection would be detrimental to one’s psyche. It is RenO’s thought that we must understand how to work and survive within this context and to not be burdened by the chaos, but work within this, to compose and achieve our goals. RenO explains, “these paintings are justification to overcome these obstacles with a unique set of compositions and relations of materials, colors, shapes and applications. Chaos or perfection? Maybe neither, except a little more reliance on the unknown.”

This series strives to eliminate the paint brush and relies on experimental processes related to Jackson Pollock and Gerhard Richter. Most of the paint was dripped, molded and formed separately on panes of glass and then carefully removed and applied to panels over a period of two years. With the concept of control always at the forefront, there are varying degrees of inclusion and exclusion playing in the compositions. Some applications are customized and forced into relation with intention, whereas the others are saved from discard and subconsciously brought to life. RenO states, “If you break an artist’s hand, they’ll find a way to make the work. If you take away their paint brush, it eventually gets replaced. What we see is ultimately the artist’s mind displayed before you with all its energies, inconsistencies and persistence.”

Artist: RenO Franczek

FLOWERS OF THE PANDEMIC runs November 6, 2020 – November 29, 2020 and is curated by Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.

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.

LAND CONTOURS June 1 - June 30, 2020

MARDI GRAS JUBILEE February 6 - March 1, 2015


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

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.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN Sept. 14 - Oct. 28, 2018

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday, September 14, 2018  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents ON THE ROAD AGAIN, its fourth mixed-media group exhibition of 2018. The special group exhibit features the artwork of both Chicago-based and nation-wide artists. The opening will be hosted on Friday, September 14, 2018, with an artist’s reception from 6-10pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

Iconic American road-stops have been the subject of music, film and literature. For this exhibition, the gallery aims to challenge the viewer to reflect on their own memories, and to encompass the feeling of being on the open road, surrounded by this country's beautiful landscape and history. Each artist adds to the feeling of nostalgia and national identity through various mediums and inspires the viewer to reflect on their own past. In the series Vanishing America, photographer Allan Teger has entombed these iconic scenes by developing and coloring them in a process that is no longer accessible. Starting in 1980, Teger’s subjects of this body of work are, diners, food stands and other various roadside buildings that are themselves a thing of the past. Each photo was shot with black and white film, then hand developed in his darkroom. He then individually painted the photos with Marshal’s Photo Oils, the same oil paints that were used for over a hundred years for this process. Each photo tosses the viewer back into the past and allows one to reflect on their own stories, or stories past down to them. Tom Duffy’s piece, “Ghost Town, Indiana” reflects on the lost towns in this nation, “Being on the backroads of the rural Midwest, provides a lesson in the history of the effects of migration from rural to cities and of the school consolidation process, both of which leave so many small downs nearly deserted.”

Nostalgia has challenged each one of these artists to reflect on their past, whether it be an influential memory or a simple reminiscence to times past. Karen Hanrahan, funded by donations, art sales and whatever belongings she could sell, moved west leaving all that she had ever known. She traveled 3200 miles in 30 days and with a mixture of pure will and gumption she reached her destination.  In her piece, “Sinclair Brontosaurus” the viewer can reminisce alongside Hanrahan when she says, “Along the way I wondered how many before me had been touched by this roadside ‘thing’ on the other side of my camera. How many felt a smile, or said to themselves ‘that was cool’ as they continued to drive on.” Like many other artworks in ON THE ROAD AGAIN, “Sinclair Brontosaurus” evokes a childlike playfulness and imagination as the viewer remembers road trips of the past. In “Where Men Can’t Live Gods Fare No Better,” Dominic Sanson’s mixed media painting depicts a lonely two lane road that cuts through a desolate landscape, followed by a river. Sanson says, “Before the time of iPads and iPhones, a child on a road trip found him or herself on roads like this, every summer. Seemingly endless nothing out the window and at the mercy of keeping themselves amused via their own imagination.” These days, using one’s imagination is a challenge not necessarily an instinct like it has in the past. With this exhibition, the curators have brought to light the beautiful mundaneness of being on the open road and aims to encourage travel around our diverse country.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN, sparks one's memories of being on the open road and allows the viewer to reflect on times past. However, the goal of this exhibition is to acknowledge the past, but to inspire more travel around our great nation. This exhibition will guide us through rural and urban America, past and present, all the way to your favorite late night restaurant. 


Artists: Allan Teger, Anastasia Mak, David Mayhew, Dominic Sansone, Jessica Brewer Prugh, John Greiner, Karen Hanrahan, Kris Kramer, Kurt Kramer, M. Jackson, Robert Tolchin, Russell Muits & Tom Duffy

ON THE ROAD AGAIN runs September 14th – October 28th and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson, Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller and Gallery Assistant Jordan High.

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. 


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."


“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.


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. 


“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

REALITY BYTES Nov. 23, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, November 23, 2018  6-9PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents REALITY BYTES, showcasing artworks from in-house artists, Jason Brueck and Kate Harrold. The opening will be hosted on Friday, November 23, 2018, with an artist’s reception from 6-9pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

REALITY BYTES dives into the art of digital collage. Artists Jason Brueck and Kate Harrold have distorted reality and formed an altered universe. Reality as we know it has taken on a surreal nature, and both Brueck and Harrold have created another dimension by utilizing technology and the digital realm. Brueck began his artistic career after practicing law for twelve years in Philadelphia. Harrold earned her BFA in photography at Cornell University. Both have taken on digital collage as their medium and have created worlds that have charmed their viewers.

The traditional form of collage has been popular throughout the 20th century. Often made out of scraps and glue, collage has become increasingly more popular in the contemporary setting. However, in that form, rarely does the viewer misconceive the work as an actual scene. Braque and Picasso used collage to deconstruct the form and abstract the image. By using Photoshop to create these scenes, both Brueck and Harrold have blurred the lines of reality and brought the viewer back to seeing a perceivably real scene.

Kate Harrold has applied her photography skills to digital collage. Harrold expressed that the way she photographs has completely changed since entering the work of digital collage. Instead of imaging and shooting the entire scene, she is able to photograph the individual without being concerned about the composition. Harrold’s subjects consist of row homes, animals, the environment, animals and most importantly, children. Harrold states, “Their fearlessness, innocence, and imagination are inspiring. They have the power to care for our environment, love without bias, and make decisions for themselves. It is this pureness in the face of adversity that I try to convey in my images.”

Jason Brueck’ career as a digital collage artist stems from him practicing collage in the traditional form. He is known for his style of combining elements of light and dark, good and evil, and life and death. He often references world and art history and appropriates master’s works along with guiding his viewers through his pieces with motifs of butterflies, birds, flames, road signs and astronauts. Brueck references his piece, “The Offering” and states, “An offering is defined as a thing offered as a religious sacrifice or token of devotion. Personal sacrifice and unfettered devotion are rare these days. People often take the easy way out, unwilling to truly commit to something or make that offering for whatever it is they seek. Without sacrifice, your dreams will never be realized.”

At first glance, Harrold’s scenes seem innocent and playful, but the underlining tone of her works implement the feeling of danger and internal struggle. Brueck, portrays that openly and finds that the feeling of loneliness is an opportunity to discover something about the inner self. By embracing the digital age, both Brueck and Harrold have created worlds of illusion and impossible realities that become an immersive reality for the viewer.

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.

SANDY February 5 - 28, 2021

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents SANDY, its first solo exhibition of 2021. The exhibition features eight original paintings by local painter George Keaton, one of Chicago’s many prolific African American artists.

Instigated by the COVID -19 pandemic, SANDY was created during George Keaton’s time isolated at home. This past year was spent creating and imagining the world of SANDY, while Keaton and his family craved escaping reality and dreamed of faraway places. When scheduling SANDY, the exhibition was set to open the gallery’s 2021 season in January. Keaton, admittedly an unhurried painter, asked to have a few more weeks to complete the collection, so together the decision was made to push the exhibition to February 2021. This serendipitous re-scheduling allowed SANDY to run congruently with Black History Month. Since 1976, the United States has celebrated African American history in the month of February. Keaton prefers to be recognized by his art vs. race, but when asked what it means to him to have a solo exhibition during Black History Month, Keaton expressed “This is a very special opportunity. MLK, Malcom X, Harriet Tubman, all the people we recognize for fighting for our rights. They fought for my ideas and dreams to be lived. I am appreciative to the people who have paved the road, of which I do not take lightly. It is my hope to make them proud.”

Throughout Keaton’s painting career, the subjects of his paintings have featured animals of all kinds. Whether that be mammal or amphibian his fascination with the creatures of this earth is inspiring. After FLUX, Keaton’s solo exhibition in 2016 (each painting was a skull of a different animal), Keaton’s inspiration turned back to living animals. While working on a few commissions, SANDY started to appear in his mind’s eye. Before Keaton knew it Sandy, the camel, came to life in the bedtime stories told to his son. When asked to tell Sandy’s story, Keaton began, “Sandy the camel lived in the desert, but dreamed of exploring the world. Each night he dreamed of being transported to another place. He soon found that his favorite place was the rainforest. There, he met friends of all kinds and realized that he was one of many types of creatures on planet Earth. Soon, he found what it was like to confront danger and after meeting and facing his fears he goes back/wakes up in his little piece of the desert. He reflects on his journeys and is in awe of his travels and can only wait until the next night to further explore the planet he had come to love and cherish.” Keaton then stated, “Of course, Sandy is a metaphor for escapism. COVID-19 has impacted most individuals; one of the main impacts has been travel restrictions.” As Sandy’s adventures came to life in the bedtime stories told, Keaton started to find Sandy in the painting he was currently creating. From there, O.B., Fancy, Bam and his other friends came to life. Keaton relies on his imagination to take him further than his feet can. However, he always has Michael Jackson’s infamous quote, “I will always regret the limitations of my imagination” in the back of his brain and hopes that he and his family will be able to travel and expose themselves to new adventures very soon.

George Keaton, a Chicago suburb native, is a self-taught painter. At the age of four, his father pulled out a nickel and showed him the magic of creating his first drawing. First, tracing the edge to make wheels, then connecting the circles with two lines to create Keaton’s now signature, a car. This simple drawing was the first creative spark. Not one year later, Keaton found that if he mixed his father’s white shoe polish with the black, he made grey. These simple acts inspired him to become the painter he is today.

Keaton’s early adult life was spent traveling while working as a model. During his time in New York City and Atlanta, Keaton kept his sketch book on him, but expressed, “I never thought I could pursue painting as a career.” While visiting museums and galleries Keaton began to notice that the artwork he was appreciating was made by living artists.

After moving back to Chicago, Keaton’s first introduction to painting was on the streets. “Back in the day” as Keaton refers to it, he dabbled in creating on the streets with fellow painters. Though his practice didn’t remain there he has brought that energy into the studio and continues to paint with the same techniques he learned during that time. Drips, splatters, gestures, scrapes and the happy accidents that come along with painting spontaneously have continued to inspire Keaton and remain part of his painting practice.

The foundations of Keaton’s practice are color and shape. Shape, first being inspired from the wheels of his first drawing and color coming from his amateur mixing of his father’s shoe polish. Keaton’s color palette continuously evolving, has left viewers wondering where his inspiration comes from. When asked to embellish, Keaton stated, “Daily, our planet provides the most vivid colors. No matter where I have been in my life, the sunset has always inspired me.” Keaton established early on his diverse and rich color palette. In an attempt to mimic our planet’s natural beauties, Keaton sought to use every color available to him. While creating SANDY, Keaton saw the value in breaking down his color choices and challenged himself to be skillful with one main color and other related tones. While discussing the psychology behind color, Keaton acknowledged that socially, humans associate certain colors with different aspects of the soul. Keaton expressed, “I want the viewer to feel the soul of the painting through my color choices.” Being a self-taught painter, Keaton has related his painting practice to a puzzle. Each painting is a piece of a puzzle that he is gladly taking his time to finish.

SANDY, starting as a bedtime story was born in Keaton’s studio and now takes its first breath on the gallery walls. Creating eight paintings in a year was challenging, but ultimately, it is Keaton’s hope that people enjoy escaping into Sandy’s world and that they are open to seeing a different approach to his well-recognized style. Keaton acknowledged, “Like Sandy, we all want an escape. I hope the viewer finds a little piece of solace and can escape, even if it just for a moment, into the world of SANDY.”

Artist: George Keaton

SANDY runs February 5 – 28, 2021 and is curated by Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.

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.

TaiThirty October 5 - 28, 2018

30 Minute Portrait Sketch Exercises

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday, October 5, 2018  6-9PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents an exclusive exhibition titled, TaiThirty, showcasing original drawings by in-house artist, Tai Taeoalii.

TaiThirty is an exhibition featuring portrait sketches of famous personalities by Tai Taeoalii.  Known for his use of ballpoint pen, Taeoalii has continued his award-winning style on brown paper bags.  All the works are completed within a self-challenged time limit of 30-45 minutes.  Taeoalii references imagery during the creation of these drawings, but more importantly he relies on his memories of the specific person.

Upon the death of Anthony Bourdain, Tai searched for a way to express how much this iconic master meant to him. Taeoalii states, “These are portraits of people who I greatly admire and who provide continuous inspiration in my life & my artwork. Each sketch was drawn with ballpoint pen & white color pencil on brown paper bags with a goal of completing the portrait within a 30-45 minute time limit."

Artist Reception is Friday, October 5, 2018 from 6-9pm with an exclusive live drawing session by Tai.

THE ODDITY BAZAAR October 25 - November 3, 2019

Step into the world of artist, Tai Taeoalii, as he creates an interactive experience room in conjunction with Jackson Junge Gallery's 10th