The exhibition Still centers around Rodriguez’s artist’s book by the same name. This hand-bound book commemorates the lives (both real and imagined) of nine of the many local animals she encountered who were killed by moving vehicles. The corresponding interdisciplinary exhibition is comprised of handmade paper, screen prints, embroidery, stop-motion animation, and installation. With wit and empathy, Rodriguez creates larger-than-life characters inspired by each victim, resulting in an immersive, creative, non-fiction narrative.
Beginning in the summer of 2014 Rodriguez served as the Victor Hammer Fellow at Wells College, where she taught papermaking, printing, and bookbinding. The Victor Hammer Fellowship was established in 1998 to bring emerging book artists to the Wells Book Arts Center for a two-year teaching and production residency. This exhibition marks the beginning of a new commitment by the String Room Gallery to stage solo exhibitions upon the culmination of each Victor Hammer Fellow’s residency.
Jenna Rodriguez is a collector, observer, and artist currently based in Chicago. She recently completed a residency at Columbia College Chicago during which she completed artwork for this exhibition. Last summer she was the recipient of The Wingate Foundation Grant, the Edwards Foundation Grant, and the College Book Arts Association’s Project Assistant Grant, which allowed her to attend a papermaking course at Penland School of Craft, build a papermaking studio for Wells College, and continue work on Still. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2013 where she received a MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts. During this time she had a two-year print production fellowship for Journal of Artists Books (JAB) and taught letterpress printing classes at Columbia College and Spudnik Community Print Shop. Jenna received her BFA in 2009 in printmaking and photo media with a certification to teach K-12 art from Old Dominion University in Virginia where she grew up.