Jennifer Radil combines ephemera, illustration and painting to create art inspired by the unique, place-based connectivity of ecological and social systems. She uses vintage maps, paint, pencils, and coiled string to create collaged topographical maps unlike those found in any atlas. Jennifer incorporates antique atlas entries and Federal censuses with wet and dry media to create original works on paper, wood, and vellum. Layering materials is a key part of her process. Inspiration comes from geological formations like the rugged badlands of western Nebraska and South Dakota, whose exposed sedimentary layers show the effects of water and wind over millions of years; or interiors, where layers of wallpaper each tell a story about a space’s former inhabitants.
Radil’s most recent work pairs portraiture with cartography as a study of identity formation; her current commission features a drawing of an eighteen year-old set against a map of the Boston suburb where she was raised. Her hair and clothing begin to blend into the nineteenth-century map of Framingham (which includes the location of her childhood home) so that it becomes difficult to separate the young woman from the place where she came of age.
Jennifer studied studio art at Colorado College and she completed her graduate work in art therapy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A registered art therapist and teaching artist, jennifer balances facilitating creative opportunities for others with creating her own work out of her studio in Omaha. This is her first residency.