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Columbia College Chicago
Jackie Kazarian
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Jackie Kazarian

Spring Fellow
Chicago, IL

photo by: Karen Arakelyan


Jackie Kazarian’s paintings, videos and installations explore the relationship between emotion and visual perception.  Her emotionally charged landscapes refer to the survival strategies found in nature, such as resilience and adaptation, as well as traditional Chinese and Japanese painting, abstract expressionism and Baroque painting.

Kazarian taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a decade and has led painting and drawing workshops worldwide and she’s created videos and installations for dance companies.  Kazarian’s work has been shown in museums and galleries in New York, Chicago, Pasadena, Miami, Spain, Japan and Syria. Public collections include the U.S. Embassy, Armenia and the City of Chicago Police Department.  Kazarian received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989 and BS from Duke University in 1981.  She lives and works in Chicago.


As the Spring 2008 Fellow, Kazarian created large-scale wallpaper entitled Breast Wallpaper, based partly on her work as a breast cancer counselor for the Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization.  She also studied the science of empathy, and utilized the video archive of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She took a course in video editing at Chicago Filmmakers and produced a video about empathy, gender and the aging process.  The video depicts the transformation of a woman’s face during a facial and draws attention to the rhythmic patterns created by the beautician’s hands.

In March-May 2012, Bellvitge Art, Barcelona, presented Abraçades (Hugs), a one-person exhibition of Kazarian’s work.  The centerpiece of the show was Kazarian’s painting Visitation, an homage to Spanish painter Diego Velázquez’ Saint Anthony Abbot and St. Paul the Hermit.  The exhibition included Breast Wallpaper, a large-scale wallpaper installation created in honor of women touched by breast cancer, and Abraçades (Hugs), a series of works on paper depicting yogic figures floating within a restless landscapes and Chicago architecture.  The catalog essay was written by Chicago art critic Lori Waxman.  Barcelona architect Miquel Vidal also wrote an essay for the exhibition and lectured about Kazarian’s work at a women’s health symposium held at Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain, during the celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8).

In June, Kazarian’s paintings and works on paper were exhibited in Made in Chicago at Golden Triangle, Chicago, and in a group exhibition at Ysla Gallery, Wilmette.  During the G8 Summit Chicago 2012, the Chicago-area Armenian community presented Armenia’s Foreign Minister with the gift of Cloud Gate/Ararat, a drawing combining the landscapes of Chicago and historic Armenia.

She is currently organizing an art exhibition featuring artists from Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran for a music and art festival held in the southern Caucasus region in June 2014.

For information visit: www.jackiekazarian.com