Jenny Kendler

Image Above: Birds Watching at Storm King Art Center as part of Indicators: Artists on Climate Change
[Printed reflective film mounted on aluminum with steel frame, 10 x 40 x 1 ft]

JENNY KENDLER (b.1980, New York City) is an interdisciplinary ecological artist, environmental activist, naturalist & wild forager whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at museums, biennials, public spaces & natural areas. Since 2014, she has been 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 de-center the human in order to make space for the radical, transformative otherness of life on our biodiverse Earth.

Kendler is Art Coordinator for Extinction Rebellion Chicago, a member of art collective Deep Time Chicago and helps run artist residency ACRE. Alongside an interdisciplinary team, she was recently awarded a major grant for her community-engaged project Garden for a Changing Climate. In 2018, she was part of Indicators: Artists on Climate Change—an exhibition at Storm King Arts Center—for which her work was covered by The New Yorker, Hyperallergic, Art in America and the New York Times.

Her work is included in the collections of The Nevada Museum of Art's Center for Art + Environment, The Eden Project, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Yale University, Brown University and The Joyce Foundation, among others.

Kendler lives in Chicago and various forests.


Opened Dec 16th, 2018 • Semi-Permanent Public Project
The 606 Elevated TrailBirds Watching • Chicago

Opened July 8, 2019 • Permanent Sculptural Project
The Eden ProjectBirds Watching was recreated with EU & UK climate-threatened birds • Cornwall, UK

Opened Oct 11, 2019 • Group Exhibition
Confluence Ecologies with Deep Time Chicago at Southeast Illinois University Museum as part of the HKW, Goethe Institue and Max Planck Institut's project Mississippi: An Anthropocene RiverLounging through the Flood (a collaboration with Jeremy Bolen) will be installed at SIU after it's maiden voyage at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and will also travel as a geo-tagged augmented reality (AR) 'sculpture' • Carbondale, IL and sites of flooding and fossil fuel infrastructure on the Mississippi River

Oct 23–Dec 12, 2019 • Group Exhibition
In the Weeds: Art and the Natural World • Beard and Weil Galleries • Wheaton College • Norton, Massachusetts

Dec 14, 2019–Jun 14, 2020 • Group Exhibition
Activist project 1000 Flags / 1000 Waters created in collaboration with Mara Eve Robbins will be part of Water After All at the MCA Chicago • Chicago

March 18, 2020 – April 11, 2021 • Group Exhibition
Music for Elephants will be at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History for Unsettled Nature: Artists Reflect on the Age of Humans • Washington D.C.

March 2020 • Group Exhibition
This video created in collaboration with Brian Kirkbride will be part of Citizen Animalia with Sue Coe, Mark Dion and Brandon Ballengée among others • Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College • Chicago

Aug–Dec, 2020 • Group Exhibition
The Future is Present • large-scale outdoor exhibition on the climate and ecological emergency • Laumeier Sculpture Park • St. Louis, MO

Ongoing Projects:
Deep Time Chicago
• Working with Endangered Species Coalition on a large-scale sculptural and augmented reality project on southern resident orcas for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (Apr 2020)

Recently Published Books
• Co-creator of An Almanac for the Beyond edited by Jaimey Hamilton Faris • Tropic Editions [free download!]
• Artwork included in Art in Chicago Neighborhoods: Year of Public Art
• Artwork for Loanwords to Live With: An Ecotopian Lexicon edited by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson • University of Minnesota Press
• Essay for Why Look at Plants? edited by Giovanni Aloi • Brill Publishers
• Artwork included in Sustainable Solutions by Richard Niesenbaum • Oxford University Press
• Essay for Botanical Speculations edited by Giovanni Aloi • Cambridge Scholars
• Artwork included in Going Wild: Helping Nature Thrive in Cities by Michelle • Orca Footprints
• Artwork included in Poor & Needy: An Exhibition on Art, Migration and Debt edited by Lise Haller Baggesen + Yvette Brackmann • The Poor Farm + The Krabbesholme, Denmark


+ Art in America : Review of 'Indicators' at Storm King
+ In/Site : For the Birds: Reimagining the Future with Jenny Kendler
+ Changemakers: The Time is Now short film
+ The New Yorker : 'Birds Watching'
+ Newcity : Newcity's Top 50 Artists
+ 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


Sept 24–Nov 1, 2019 • Biennial
Wildlife Biennial XIX • Miller Art Museum • WI

Aug–Oct 2019 • Group Exhibition
Exhibition to benefit migrant relief organization Border Kindness • Mexico/US Border Fence in Mexicali, Mexico & Avenue 50 Studio, East Los Angeles

Aug 2019 • Biochar Burn and Installation
Underground Library will continue with a biochar kiln burn at Sagehen Creek Field Station in partnership with curator Shirley Watts of Natural Discourse, The Nevada Museum of Art's Center for Art + Environment and DOER Marine • Truckee, CA

Apr 25–Aug 11, 2019 • Group Exhibition
DePaul Art Museum • New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival • Chicago

June 11, 2019 • Speaker at Symposium
Christie's New York • The Role of Art in the Environmental Crisis (Discount code at bottom of page here) • Organized by Dr. Julie Reiss • NYC

Sept 2018–Mar 25, 2019 • Public Project
The Arts Club of ChicagoThe Playhead of Dawn • Collaborative sound and data project with Brian Kirkbride for the Arts Club garden • Chicago

Feb 27th–Mar 3rd • Group Show
LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden • Digital Nature • Los Angeles

Jan 25th–Feb 23rd • Group Show
La Esquina Gallery at Charlotte Street Foundation • Staging Ground • Kansas City, MO

May–Nov 2018 • Sculptural Projects
Indicators: Artists on Climate ChangeStorm King Art Center • Mountainville, NY
'Ghosts of our Future Climate' review in Hyperallergic
'Indicators' featured in the New York Times
'Day of the Bird' at Storm King was on August 12th featuring live falcon drawing with Jenny Kendler & George Boorujy, a musical performance of songbirdsong by John Luther Adams, and a reading by conservationist J. Drew Lanham

Sept 22–Nov 4 • Group Show
LVL3 • Local Comfort • Chicago
Public opening Sept 22nd

Sept 26 • Panel Discussion with Nick Cave and Amanda Williams • Joyce Foundation • Chicago •

Apr 22nd–Aug 2018 • Community Co-created Project
Garden for a Changing Climate • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/HWW grant-funded community co-created project with collaborators Lorelei Stewart and Gallery 400 at UIC, the American Indian Center, Sweet Water Foundation, Latinos Prograsando, 360 Nation and more • Chicago

Feb 24th–Apr 6th, 2018• Group Exhibition
Dymaxion TrajectoriesSoccer Club Club • Curated by Jeremy Bolen & Andrew Rafacz • Chicago

2015–2018 • Community Project & Art Book
GREEN ZONES • Community co-created artist book published with Candor Arts to raise awareness and funds for a threatened tropical dry forest • Supported by a grant from the Pacific Foundation • Nosara, Costa Rica

Jan 13–Feb 25, 2018• Group Exhibition
Living Proof: flora, fauna & fossil fuelsSpace 151 • Curated by Shirley Watts • San Francisco

Dec 2016–Jan 2018 • Public Project
Sculpture--->Garden • Biodegradable sculptures installed near Lake Michigan throughout the year on each solstice and equinox • Chicago Parks District • Chicago

Oct 2017 • Group Exhibition & Publication
Project for TKThe Great Poor Farm Experiment VIII: Poor & Needy • Curated by Lise Haller Baggesen Ross & Yvette Brackman • Krabbesholm Højskole • Denmark

Opened Oct 1st 2017 • Permanent Project • Biennial
A Crooked Stile3rd Terrain Biennial • Curated by Richard Medina • Chicago + the Arizona desert

Oct 7–Dec 10 2017 • Solo Exhibition
Rewilding • Ledge Gallery • Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University • East Lansing, MI

Sept 2017–Mar 2018 • Group Exhibition • Biennial
Infinite Games 50/50 • Part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial • Open House Contemporary • Organized by John Preus & Rhona Hoffman Gallery • Chicago

Sept 29 2017 • Speaker at Symposium
Botanical Speculations • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Watch video of Botanical Speculations

Sept 2017 • Visiting Artist & Special Project
Artist talk, workshop & permanently installed project in the College of DuPage's restored 18 acre prairie • Underground Library • DuPage, IL
Watch artist talk
Watch short video on Underground Library

Sept 1–Nov 15 2017 • Group Exhibition
The Unreliable Narrator with Mark Dion, Deb Sokolow & Holly Andres • Sun Valley Center for the Arts • Ketchum, ID

Aug 2017 • Visiting Artist Collective
Deep Time Chicago at ACRE • Wisconsin

June 17–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

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

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

Sept 2016 • Speaking Engagement
Artist Talk & Workshop • Wexner Center for the Arts • Columbus, OH

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

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

Aug 2015 • Public Art 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 Project • Interactive Installation
Tell it to the Birds • NRDC Project Space • EXPO Chicago

Jul 30 – Aug 1, 2014 • 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

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

Dec 2012 • Solo exhibition
The 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