Jessica Gondek is an associate professor in the Loyola University Chicago Department of Fine and Performing Arts, but she was born in Urbana, making the “Enterprising Machines” exhibit at Giertz Gallery at Parkland College a homecoming of sorts.

“Enterprising Machines” comprises oil and digital print on canvas, as well as charcoal and pastel drawings developed atop digital print substrates. The exhibit was previously on view at several galleries in the Chicago area and beyond, including the Evanston Art Center earlier this year, before making it to Champaign this week.

Filled with bold colors, “Enterprising Machines” has an urban, retrofuturistic feel. But as her Artist’s Statement shows, Gondek digs deep for sources of inspiration.

The primary focus of my work is abstract stemming from an interest in technology, geometry, machine aesthetics, architecture, and nature. My aesthetic can be traced back to several art historical references, including Da Vinci’s inventions and war machines, Piranesi’s whimsical and ominous architectural spaces, the Futurist’s works celebrating technology, and the Pre-Dada works of Duchamp and Picabia that take a more uncertain view on technology are yet another influence on my work.

'Enterprising Machines' exhibit by Jessica Gondek opens at Parkland College

An opening reception featuring a talk by Gondek is being held Thursday, Oct. 3, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The exhibit is on view through Nov. 2.

Photos by Sergio Barreto