Image Above: Music for Elephants at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) — immersed in the cyan light of Diana Thater's installation.

JENNY KENDLER (b.1980, New York City) is an interdisciplinary artist, environmental activist, naturalist & wild forager whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at museums, biennials, public spaces & wild locations. She is currently the first Artist-in-Residence with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Her practice seeks to complicate the space between nature and culture, in order to re-enchant human beings' relationship with the natural world. She asks us to reexamine the idea of nature as something outside ourselves, making space to welcome the radical, transformative otherness of life on our bio-diverse Earth. Kendler helps run artist residency ACRE and art/research/activism initiative Deep Time Chicago. Alongside an interdisciplinary team, she was recently awarded a major grant for her community-engagement project Garden for a Changing Climate. She lives in Chicago and various forests. Read more...


2016 – 2017 • Public Project
Sculpture--->Garden • Biodegradable sculptures installed throughout the coming year on each solstice and equinox at various natural parkland sites on the Chicago lakeshore • Chicago Parks District

June 3–July 16 2017 • Group Exhibition
Marginal Green • Goldfinch Gallery • Curated by Elizabeth Lalley • Chicago

April 2017 • Interactive Project
Bewilder (Deimatic Eyespot Camouflage)California Academy of Sciences • San Francisco

2017 • Residency
First Artist-in-Residence at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum • Chicago

Nov 2016
Music for Elephants • Special Project for MCA Chicago • Curated by Ann Meisinger • Chicago
Read more about the project in NRDC's onEarth Magazine.
Music for Elephants covered in Chicago Magazine

2017 – 2018 • Community Engagement Project
Garden for a Changing Climate • Collaborative grant-funded public art project with partners Lorelei Stewart (UIC, Gallery 400), Hannah Higgins (UIC) & Noah Weeth-Feinstein (UW-Madison)

2015 – 2017 • Community Engagement Project
GREENZONES • Community-sourced artist book to raise awareness and funds for threatened tropical dry forest ecosystems • Supported by a grant from the Pacific Foundation • Nosara, Costa Rica

Aug 2016 – 2017 • Group Exhibition & Publication
The Great Poor Farm Experiment VIII: Poor & Needy • The Poor Farm • Curated by Lise Haller Baggesen Ross & Yvette Brackman • Little Wolf, WI & Denmark (in 2017)

Sept 2017 • Visiting Artist & Special Project
College of DuPage • artist talk, workshops and project on the College's restored 18 acre prairie

Also in 2016 & 2017
• Group Exhibition • Lost Arts Chicago & Hong Kong Design Week
• Speaking Engagement • Wexner Center for the Arts
A Transhuman Public • Curated by Caroline Picard
• Group Exhibition • Sun Valley Center for the Arts


+ NPR : Live radio interview on WBEZ's Worldview
+ Mashable's front-page Earth Day story : How one activist combines impactful art and advocacy to save the Earth
+ Chicago Tribune : Fall Arts Preview by Lori Waxman
+ Inside/Within : Interview: Jenny Kendler's Sensuous Rewilding
+ Chicago Reader : Feature Story & Video Interview
+ KPLR11 : Live TV interview for MDSTL/Pulitzer


July 24 – Jan 8, 2016 • Public Sound Installation
A Confounding Mimicry • Collaboration with husband Brian Kirkbride • in partnership with Experimental Sound Studio for their Florasonic series • Lincoln Park Conservatory • Chicago

Opened Oct 2017 • Public Project
Permanent Commission for Philidelphia's Fairmount Park • Curated by Abigail Satinsky • Philadelphia

Fall 2016 • Public Commission
See the Forest (For the Trees) • Sculptural garden at the Knoch Knolls Platinum LEED Nature Center • Naperville, IL

Opened Nov 3 – • Group Exhibition
INTERSECTIONALITY • O'Connor Art Gallery at Dominican University • Curated by Andrew Reyes-Burkholder • River Forest, IL

Sept 23 – Dec 16, 2016 • Group Exhibition
Pegasus & Mermaids • The Poetry Foundation • Curated by Fred Sasaki • Chicago

Sept 21 – Oct 9, 2016
Music for Elephants • Artprize • Curated by Alison Erazmus • Grand Rapids, MI

May 31, 2016 • Interactive Projects
Peoples' Porphyry seed bomb workshop & Herd Not Seen project • MCA Studio at the Museum of Contemporary Art • Chicago

Apr 1 – May 30, 2016 • Solo Show
Bewilder | Be Wilder • SLOMA • San Luis Obispo, California
• STEAM event at Cal Poly University on Mar 30th

Mar 4 – May 21, 2016 • Group Show
Objectify • Part of NCECA 2016 • Belger Crane Yard • Kansas City, MO

Jan 12 – Mar 20, 2016 • Two-Person Exhibition
Animal Umwelt • with Molly Schafer • iMOCA • Indianapolis, IN

Dec 12, 2015 – Feb 21, 2016 • Biennial
Elmhurst Art Museum Biennial: Chicago Statements • Chicago

Sep 23 – Nov 29, 2015 • Group Show
Rooted in Soil, originally organized by the DePaul Art Museum, toured to the Salina Art Center • Salina, KS

Aug 2015 • New Public Commission
Field of Vision : A Garden for OthersLouisville Commission on Public Art • Louisville, KY
[Field of Vision was a finalist in SxSW Eco's 'Place by Design' (watch video here) and was featured on the front page of Louisville's newspaper, The Courier-Journal]

Aug–Nov 2015 • Interactive Public Project
ReWilding New York : Community Seed StationsThe Albright-Knox Art Gallery • Commissioned by Curator of Public Art, Aaron Ott • Buffalo, NY
[ReWilding was covered in The Buffalo News and featured on the cover of The Public]

July 7, 2015 • Interactive Public Pop-up
Tell it to the Birds inhabited the Mylayne Pavilion in Millennium Park's Lurie Garden, organized by The Art Institute of Chicago & The Arts Club of Chicago

May 2015 • Cover Image
Species Traitor I featured on the cover of Poetry Magazine

April 3, 2014 • Closing Lecturer
Shapiro Research Symposium • SAIC

Jan 29 - Apr 27, 2015 • Group Show
Rooted in Soil • Curated by Laura & Farrah Fatemi • DePaul Art Museum • Chicago
Lori Waxman's review for the Chicago Tribune

Dec 12 - Feb 12, 2014 • Group Exhibit
Rooting (India): The Knowledge Project • Curated by Tricia Van Eck, Deborah Boardman & Akshay Rathore • Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India

Nov & Dec 2014 • Interactive Public Mural
A Place of Light and Wind (For Lost Prairies)The Violet Hour • Chicago

Sept 18-21, 2014 • Solo Show/Interactive Installation
Tell it to the Birds • NRDC Project Space • EXPO Chicago

Sept 11, 2014 • Panel Discussion
Climate Change/Creative Solutions • Organized by the Human Impacts Institute • Goethe-Institut Chicago

Jul 30 - Aug 1, 2014 • Commissioned Public Project
Milkweed Dispersal BalloonsMarfa Dialogues / St. LouisPulitzer Foundation for the Arts • St. Louis, MO

Jan 16 - Feb 8, 2014 • Group Show
Projections AnimalièresLa Box Gallery at les Écoles Nationale Supérieures D’art • Bourges, France

Nov 2013 • Delighted to be named "Chicago's Best Dressed Artist" in Newcity's Best of Chicago Issue

Jul 2013Attempted Transformations, a public art project for Pitchfork & CAC is seen by 50,000 and featured in a full-page image in The Chicago Tribune

Jan 2013Camouflage I (Disguise for an Endangered Bird) was on the cover of nearly 100,000 Chicago Readers

Dec 2012The Hall of Disappearing named one of Chicago's two best shows of 2012 by Artslant and one of Chicago's five best shows of 2012 by Hyperallergic.

View full artist CV here .