Jessica Harvey’s “Arrows of Dawn” Comes to JJC Art Gallery Jan. 17 through Feb. 10

Chicago-based artist and former JJC student Jessica Harvey will display work inspired by 20th Century Utopian living in an exhibit called “Arrows of Dawn,” at the Laura A. Sprague Art Gallery from Jan. 17 through Feb. 10 on the Joliet Junior College Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.

The exhibit will feature the photographic portrayal of a fallen Utopian arts community in Woodstock, New York during the 20th century. The exhibit will also abstractly showcase the story of Jane Byrd McCall Whitehead, the community’s under-recognized matriarch and her relationship to nature, spirituality and the failed vision she had for herself and her family.

An image from Jessica Harvey's  exhibit at the JJC art gallery.

An image from Jessica Harvey’s exhibit at the JJC art gallery.

According to her artist statement, Harvey says that many of her images and installations act “as a catalyst for a fantastical exploration of the psychology that one attaches to memory and place, putting particular emphasis on the role of women in these histories.”

Harvey, who grew up in Minooka, began her career at JJC in the early 2000s. During her time at the college, she got her first real taste of photography by taking pictures for the student newspaper, The Blazer.

After leaving JJC, Harvey graduated with a bachelor’s degree in film and video at Columbia College in Chicago in 2005 and then went to earn a master’s degree in photography at the Cranbook Academy of Art in Michigan in 2009.

But Harvey’s journey didn’t stop there. After shortly completing her master’s degree, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship Grant to Iceland for the 2011-2012 year.

Since then, Harvey has attended residencies at ACRE, Anderson Ranch, Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, Hardesty Arts Center, The Luminary, and Vermont Studio Center. She has participated in group shows at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, MI) Johalla Projects (Chicago), The Center for Contemporary Photography (Detroit, MI), and the Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills, MI). She has also had recent solo and two person exhibitions include shows at Black Hills State University (Spearfish, SD), Hardesty Arts Center (Tulsa, OK), ACRE Projects (Chicago), Good Weather (North Little Rock, AR), The Luminary (St. Louis, MO), and Heaven Gallery (Chicago).

“Jessica is clearly one of the biggest success stories of the JJC Art Program,” said Gallery Director Joe Milosevich. “She is simply an amazing talent who is most deserving of all the recognition she has received as a visual artist.”

In addition to visiting the gallery, the community is also welcome to attend Harvey’s gallery reception on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. in the art gallery.

The Laura A. Sprague Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is located on the first level of the J-Building on the Main Campus.

For more information about the Laura A. Sprague Gallery or the JJC Fine Arts Department, visit

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