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My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

Chicago Artist Jessica Campbell Makes Her Solo Museum Debut

Chicago Artist Jessica Campbell Makes Her Solo Museum Debut

WDCB’s Gary Zidek talks to Chicago-based artist Jessica Campbell about her Chicago Works exhibition currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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“I realized that thinking about her would be a good conceit for the exhibition, because it allowed me to indulge my homesickness, but then also relate my life as an artist and a woman who was born in Victoria (Canada) a hundred years after Emily Carr, to her own experiences of trying to be an artist living out there.” - Jessica Campbell talking about the idea to incorporate Emily Carr’s life and art into her Chicago Works exhibition.

Artist Jessica Campbell

Artist Jessica Campbell

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s latest Chicago Works exhibition puts the spotlight on the work of Jessica Campbell. Interactive elements like a take-home comic book and a work visitors are encouraged to step on, sit alongside drawings and large textile collages. that Campbell calls carpet paintings.

Four of Campbell’s “carpet paintings” that make up a giant carpet mural.

Four of Campbell’s “carpet paintings” that make up a giant carpet mural.

Campbell’s inspiration came in-part from Canadian artist Emily Carr (1871 - 1945). Campbell grew up surrounded by Carr’s work in Victoria, British Columbia.

Artist Emily Carr

Artist Emily Carr

Campbell created a series of “carpet paintings” depicting scenes from her own life and Carr’s, and then used those pieces to create a giant carpet mural.

Jessica Campbell, Forsaken, 2018

Jessica Campbell, Forsaken, 2018

Jessica Campbell, Self-Portrait, 2018. Photo credit: James Prinz

Jessica Campbell, Self-Portrait, 2018. Photo credit: James Prinz

Jessica Campbell’s carpet mural (Carr Chapel). Photo credit: Nathan Keay

Jessica Campbell’s carpet mural (Carr Chapel). Photo credit: Nathan Keay

A different part of exhibit refers back to Carr’s disappointing trip to Chicago to attend the 1933 World’s Fair.  Large-scale ink and charcoal re-creations of Carr’s unpublished cartoons hang on the walls. In the middle of the gallery is a rug that satirizes Century of Progress, a 1933 survey of mostly men’s work that was on display at the Art Institute during the World’s Fair.

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