Jenny Kendler (b. 1980, New York City) is an interdisciplinary artist, environmental activist, naturalist & wild forager who lives in Chicago and various forests. She is currently the first Artist-in-Residence with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). 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.
Kendler holds a MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2006) and a BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art (2002, summa cum laude).
Her work has been exhibited nationally & internationally at museums and biennials including Storm King Art Center (New Windsor, NY), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Albright-Knox museum (Buffalo, NY), The Eli and Edythe Broad Museum (Michigan), the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (St. Louis), the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco), iMOCA (Indianapolis), the DePaul Art Museum (Chicago), the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India), the Yeosu International Art Festival biennial (Korea), the inaugural Chicago Biennial, and the 3rd Terrain Biennial (Arizona).
Her work has also been included in exhibitions at Exit Art (NYC), La Box at les Écoles Nationale Supérieures D’art (France), Claremorris Gallery (Ireland), Root Division (San Francisco), Kristi Engle (Los Angeles), Public Pool (Detroit), and in Chicago at Columbia College, Johalla Projects, and Gallery 400 among others. She has been commissioned to create interactive, environmentally-engaged public art projects locations such as Chicago's Millennium Park for the Art Institute of Chicago, The Lincoln Park Conservatory fern room for Experimental Sound Studio, Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, a desert in Arizona, the Louisville Riverwalk and a tropical forest in Nosara, Costa Rica.
She has been invited to speak about her environmentally-engaged practice at many universities, institutions and symposiums including at the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH), SxSW Eco (Austin, TX), the Goethe-Institut (Chicago), Northwestern University (Chicago), the Botanical Speculations Symposium (SAIC) and delivered the closing lecture at the Shapiro Research Symposium (SAIC).
Kendler is co-founder of the artist website platform OtherPeoplesPixels, and created the The OPPfund, which gives grants to arts, environmental and social justice organizations, and awards the MAKER Grant each year to two socially or environmentally engaged artists in partnership with Chicago Artists' Coalition.
She was also the co-creator of The Endangered Species Print Project, which from 2009-2018 worked with over 20 artists to create limited-edition art prints which raised funds for critically endangered species. The project was exhibited at spaces like the Notebaert Nature Museum, galleries, film festivals and was covered in Orion Magazine's 35th anniversary issue. ESPP raised over $15,000 for conservation.
Her work has been covered in The New York Times, Orion Magazine's 35th Anniversary Issue, The Chicago Tribune, The American Scholar, Juxtapoz, OnEarth Magazine, Chicago Magazine, ArtSlant, Hyperallergic, in a special Earth Day feature for Mashable—and she has been interviewed on NPR and by Chicago's ABC7 News, among others. Kendler and her work have appeared on the cover of the Chicago Reader three times, most recently accompanying a 6-page feature article. Her artwork and writing has also been featured in a number of published books, including the upcoming % Loanwords to Live With: An Ecotopian Lexicon,% Sustainable Solutions from Oxford University Press and Why Look at Plants? by Giovanni Aloi. The Center for Biological Diversity's Endangered Species Condom Project, for which she created artwork, was profiled in The New York Times and featured on a billboard in Times Square.
Watch Kendler's artist talk for the Visiting Artist series at the College of DuPage here.
Photo credit: Clayton Hauck for The Chicago Reader