Jessica Kennedy

JESSICA KENNEDY

Profile | Statement | Biography


Jessica Kennedy • Profile

 

Jessica Kennedy

I was born and raised in Michigan; studied painting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and graduated with my BFA in 2005. Most recently, I finished my MFA in the spring of 2009 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. I'm currently painting in my studio at SCA Contemporary and teaching locally.


Jessica Kennedy • Statement

My love of process, action and the physicality of paint are the driving forces of my work and the natural world is my major source for inspiration. I think about animals, human beings, and plant life and I attempt to create a world in which a single object, my painting, can define all three simultaneously. In this imaginative space, I depict scenes that could take place in a rainforest, in a pond, in a laboratory, or inside the human body. I aim specifically to create imagery that has the potential for that slippage.

Feelings of reverence for nature as well as a distinct fear of its power mingle in my mind, and thus appear in my work. We are a part of the natural world and as such, we are vulnerable to this power. For me, it is both exciting and terrifying to know that something so small that it cannot be discerned with the naked eye (a virus, a cancer cell, a bacterium, a parasite) can destroy us. The way in which nature can be profoundly beautiful, startlingly unpredictable, and indiscriminately violent moves me and inspires my work.

Growth is a theme that appears again and again in my work. It is an enigmatic, rich concept because it can be beautiful, positive and right as well as destructive, grotesque and invasive. Flowers, crops, infants. Tumors, cysts, infections. The paintings themselves grow in layers and I begin each piece without a preconceived notion of resolution. I lay down a simple color field and then the paintings seem to take over and direct their own evolution. Making these paintings is a process of concealing and revealing. It is also somewhat of a catharsis for me; addressing my anxieties in my work somehow allows them to weigh less heavily.

I make this artwork to express my wonder as well as to ease my fears.


Jessica Kennedy • Biography

EDUCATION

2009
MFA (with distinction), University of New Mexico, Spring

2005
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Summa Cum Laude), University of Michigan School of Art and Design, Spring
History of Art Minor, University of Michigan, Spring

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2016
"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2015
"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

“Lookie Here”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2014
"Annual Fall Celebration", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2012 
  
"25 Year Gala", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"LG-Group", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Color Context", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Power of Pattern", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Fresh Squeezed and Locally Grown", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Act II", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2011    
"Come Out and Play", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Opening Celebration", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2010
"12 x 12", The Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Art Prize", Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Collect: Inside 8", Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2009
"12 x 12", The Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Glow", Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Invade/Evade", Solo Exhibition, Bright Rain Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Crossing: Look Both Ways", The Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jurors: Richard Levy, Viviette Hunt, Janet Dees, Pat Nagatani, & Federico Vigil
"Bittersweet : the 15th Annual Juried Graduate Exhibition", Juror: Laura Addison, Jonson Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Self Diagnosis", Solo exhibition, Jonson Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico

2008
"INSIDE the INSIDE", Two-person exhibition with Lea Anderson, The Petting Zoo Art Space, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"All Fresh and Organic", John Somers Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Jessica Kennedy: New Paintings", Solo exhibition, Bright Rain Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Into This Waterless Land", Juror: Jason Reed, North Fourth Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Splash : the 14th Annual Juried Graduate Exhibition", Juror: Suzanne Sbarge, UNM Art Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico

2007
"Judicial Notice II", Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse, Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 2007 through July 2008
"In the Cut", Donkey Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Showcase Showdown", John Somers Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Out of the Underground: the 13th Annual Juried Graduate Exhibition", Juror: Laura Heon, 516 Arts and Jonson Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico

2006
"At First Sight", Jonson Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico

2005
"Award Winners: Over the Summer", WORK Gallery, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"Sequence", Palmer Commons Gallery, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"2005 All Student Exhibition", WORK Gallery, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"Show Love", 555 Gallery, Detroit, Michigan

AWARDS

2008
Earickson Trust: University of New Mexico Office of Graduate Studies, September
Barbara Harper Endowed Scholarship: University of New Mexico Department of Art and Art History, September

2007
Harry Nadler Fellowship: University of New Mexico Department of Art and Art History, September

2005
McCluney Memorial Senior Award: University of Michigan

2004
University Honors: University of Michigan, April and December

2002
University Honors: University of Michigan, December
Dean’s List: University of Michigan, April and December

PUBLICATIONS

2012
"25 Year Book", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2010
"Studio Visit Magazine", Vol. 10. Juried Exhibition in Print, Published by the Open Studios Press, Boston, Massachusetts