Jessica Bingham received her BA in 2012, as well as her Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship in 2013, from Monmouth College. While at Monmouth College she held an internship with the Buchanan Center for the Arts and studied drawing and art history in Florence, Italy in 2011. She recently graduated with her MFA from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois where she focused on painting and installations. In 2015, she co-founded Project 1612, a short-term residency and independent artist-run project space at her home in Peoria. Jessica is a contributor to Expose Art Magazine and is actively involved with several NFP art organizations including Backspace Collective and YAKU. Venues where she has exhibited include Woman Made Gallery (Chicago, IL), Neon Heater (Findlay, OH), South Arkansas Art Center (El Dorado, AR), Figge Art Museum (Davenport, IA), and SpaceWomb Gallery (New York, NY). Jessica has upcoming exhibitions at The Lucky Jotter in the UK and Kitchen Space Gallery in Chicago, IL.
In many ways, my work is focused on stereotypical childhood experiences, which tends to be overtly playful, filled with laughter and adventure. I am interested in the process of making tents, recreating personal childhood memories, and generalizing the typical childhood experience. However, I pair happier moments with instances that can be viewed as melancholy, moments that reveal the harsh reality of the human condition. After the passing of my closest childhood friend, due to drug addiction, memories from my youth surfaced. Since his death I have been reflecting on our friendship as it developed from the innocent years of childhood to the complex and confused years in adulthood. Vivid memories of playing games, building forts, and exploring the cemetery across from our homes came to mind. As I wrestled with this new reality, I have made work as an attempt to preserve those memories, and through working on this body of work, I have willingly opened doors to the past. My work combines found and made objects that are personally mournful with materials that could universally be recognized as joyful, such as balloons, flowers, glitter, and cake. These pieces deal specifically with my childhood home, neighborhood, and the cemetery.