The material focus of my work is graphite and erasure. My conceptual concerns relate to labor, political upheaval and the liminal space of bearing witness. Ultimately, I am interested in the visceral response. Rhythm, repetition and grid is my visual language; it maps my movement. I keep my materials as simple as possible. For me, there are complex subtleties found in engaging with minimal and post minimal work. The feeling is that of a puzzle with potential. It needs ones attention and time in order for it to be activated. I am always thinking and feeling about what it is to engage with and to feel an edge.


Born and raised in Chicago, I arrived to the West in 2000. I planned to live here after making my first trip in 1980. The West was then and now the greatest physical influence for making my work.

My work is in private collections, shown locally, nationally and has been published by Phaidon Press. I am a recipient of NEA and NEH grants. My graduate work was completed at the University of Chicago; my undergraduate work completed at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

I have served as Assistant Director for the Division of Continuing Studies (SAIC) and Cultural Enrichment Manager for the Chicago Park District. I have taught for the Art Education Department of School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Art Depts. of Colorado State University, the University of Wyoming and Naropa University.  After serving as Lead Faculty for Visual and Media Arts in CADHu (Department of Creative Arts Design and Humanities) at Front Range Community College in Ft. Collins, Colorado, I have returned to my work as an adjunct faculty member which provides me focused time for my research and studio practice.

Contact: J.L.Kiessling@gmail.com