Jenny Kendler

Above: The Whale Bells project was created in collaboration with Andrew Bearnot to hang in a permanent exhibition aboard a National Geographic arctic ice-class vessel. A second "carillon" of 23 bells is currently being created for Kendler's solo exhibition at the MSU Broad Museum, opening January 9th, 2021.

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 Dom Museum Wein, 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.


Sept 2020 • Press
Included in Chicago's "Art 50"

Oct 1, 2020–Aug 28, 2021 • Group Exhibition
The Dom Museum Wein • Three works acquired for permanent collection and exhibition in Fragile Schöpfung/Fragile Creation • Curated by Johanna Schwanberg & Dr. Klaus Speidel • Vienna, Austria

Jan 9, 2021–May 9, 2021 • Solo Exhibition
MSU Broad Museum • Curated by Steven L. Bridges • Lansing, MI


POSTPONED: Mar 2020 • Permanent Group Exhibition
Whale Bells, a collaboration with Andrew Bearnot, will be a part of Change a permanent exhibition aboard a National Geographic arctic ice-class vessel • Curated by Zaria Forman • Arctic Ocean

POSTPONED until Fall 2020 – EXTENDED until Aug. 2021 • Group Exhibition
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History • Music for Elephants will be part of Unsettled Nature: Artists Reflect on the Age of Humans • Washington, D.C.

POSTPONED: Apr 1, 2020 • Panelist
The Art Institute of Chicago • The Gathering (Postcommodity: With Each Incentive) • Chicago

POSTPONED: Apr 24, 2020 • Panelist
The Art Institute of Chicago • Response to The Seldoms : Floe • Chicago

POSTPONED: Sept, 2020 • Artist-in-Residence
The Commons at the University of Kansas • Lawrence, KS

RESCHEDULED for Sept 2021 • Artist-in-Residence
The Land Institute's Prairie Festival 2020 • Salina, KS

RESCHEDULED for February 6–May 9, 2021 • Group Exhibition
The Future is Present • large-scale outdoor exhibition on the climate and ecological emergency • Laumeier Sculpture Park • St. Louis, MO


Opened Dec 16th, 2018 • 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

July 1, 2020–June 20th, 2022
Silverwood Park • Lounging Through the Flood (with Jeremy Bolen) • St. Anthony, Minnesota


+ To the Best of Our Knowledge : Interview for the nationally-syndicated radio show
+ Art in America : Review of 'Indicators' at Storm King
+ In/Site : For the Birds: Reimagining the Future with Jenny Kendler
+ Creative Carbon Scotland : in-depth report on Milkweed Dispersal Balloons and the NRDC A-i-R program
+ Foreground/Background : Podcast interview
+ 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


June–Sept 19 2020 • Group Exhibition
Performative Ecologies • Curated by Patricia Watts • 826 CURRENTS • Santa Fe, NM

Apr 19, 2020 • Panelist
MCA Chicago • Dialogue Series 2020: Inheritance with Pope.L, Dr. Rachel Havrelock of the Freshwater Lab + What Pipeline (WATCH HERE) • Chicago

Dec 14, 2019–Jun 14, 2020 • Group Exhibition
MCA Chicago • 1000 Flags / 1000 Waters created in collaboration with activist Mara Eve Robbins is part of Water After All • Chicago

Mar 2–May 21, 2020 • Traveling Group Exhibition
This video created in collaboration with Brian Kirkbride will be part of Citizen Animalia • Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College • Chicago

MOVED to ONLINE VENUES AND ALTERNATE PLANS: Earth Day to May Day • Non-Violent Direct Actions
Art Coordination and Organizing for Extinction Rebellion Chicago as part of the city-wide Climate Coalition alongside IL Youth Climate Strike, IL Indigenous Youth Council, Sunrise Movement and many more labor, environmental justice and immigration rights groups

Jan 2020 • Group Exhibition
Lounging Through the Flood, created in collaboration with Jeremy Bolen will be included in Depictions of Living - Art and Activism in the Time of Climate Crisis • Art Pavilion, Mile End • London, 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

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 • 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

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

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 at Gallery 400 • Chicago

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

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

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

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

View full artist CV here

“My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed

I have to cast my lot with those

who age after age, perversely,

with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.”

― Adrienne Rich