Enterprising Machines

Evanston Art Center

Feb. 16, 2024 - Mar. 24, 2019

Evanston Art Center, 1717 Central Avenue
Evanston, 60201



Jessica Gondek (b. 1969) was born in Urbana, Illinois, and is now an artist/teacher living in the Chicago area. The primary focus of her work is abstract stemming from an interest in technology, geometry, machine aesthetics, architecture, and nature.  In Enterprising Machines, Gondek explores a dichotomous relationship between the hand and the machine that has evolved over time. This creative journey has taken her from work engaged in 3D modeling to create forms and compositions to recent explorations of gendered domestic machines from the early part of the twentieth century referencing trade catalogues and actual utilitarian objects.  These works hold in common a marriage of both traditional media and digitally mediated computer approaches intrinsic to the development of the images. The mechanical forms within these compositions are simultaneously transformed asserting an animated physical presence and internal narrative.

Ms. Gondek has received a number of prestigious awards and residencies recognizing her creative work over the years. Notable is a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant (2002), a Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Grant (1999), and a Mid-America Arts Alliance National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1994). Ms. Gondek has been recognized with a number of international artist residency awards. She has been an artist in residence at the Can Serrat International Art Center in Spain (2008), and at the Frans Masereel Center in Belgium (2006-2000). Her selection for these awards is testimony to the significance of her work.

Jessica Gondek’s work is widely exhibited and represented in many public collections, including the New York Public Library, Kresge Art Museum, Spencer Museum of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, Purdue University Galleries, Washington Jefferson College, Lincoln Bank and Insurance Co, Loyola Museum of Art, the Frans Masereel Center, and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Ms. Gondek has contributed to the cultural life of Illinois with solo exhibitions at: ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation (2019, 2016, 2014, 2012), College of Lake County (2016), Harold Washinton Library Center (2012), Loyola University Harlan J Berk Ltd. Gallery (2010), McHenry Community College (2010), The Beverly Art Center (2011), Northern Illinois University Museum of Art (2009), and the Aurora Public Art Commission (2008), Elgin Community College Saftey Kleen Gallery One (1998).  Her work will be featured in several upcoming Illinois exhibition venues in 2019 including: the Evanston Art Center (three-person exhibition,) Black Hawk College in Moline (solo show) as well as a ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation (solo show).

Ms. Gondek’s work is gaining growing national recognition with a recent 2017 solo exhibition at the prestigious A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, the first womens’s collective in the United States. Her work has been selected in numerous national juried exhibitions including: 31st McNeese National Works on Paper, Monroe LA (2018), Ink & Clay 43, Pomona CA (2017), Stand Out Prints, Minneapolis MN (2016, 2012),  35th Artlink National Printmaking Exhibition, Fort Wayne IN (2015),  First Street Gallery New York NY (2013), Harnett Biennial of American Prints, Cincinatti OH (2012), Global Matrix III International Print Exhibition West Lafayette IN (2012), Prints USA 2011, Springfield MO,  and Americas 2011:Paperworks National Exhibition, Minot ND . Ms. Gondek’s work has been written about by the prestigious american art critic, Donald Kuspit, concurrent with her 2013 solo exhibition at Phoenix Gallery, New York, the essay may be found on the artist’s website.

Jessica Gondek is active in several women’s collective galleries.  She is an affilate gallery member of ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation.  She has shown at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, Ceres Gallery in New York, and A.I.R Gallery in Brooklyn. She has been invited to show in a Nevertheless She Persisisted: Women of Courage, Tenacity, and Strenght at the Koehnline Museum of Art on display at Oakton Communicty College fall 2018.

Enterprising Machines will be exhibited in the second floor gallery of the Art Center. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, February 16 from 1 – 4pm, which will be free and open to the public.

Evanston Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. Evanston Art Center Gallery Hours: 9am– 9pm, Monday – Thursday; 9am – 5pm, Friday; 9am – 4pm, Saturday & Sunday. First and second floor gallery spaces are handicapped accessible. Limited free parking is available.


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