Jessica Bingham is an artist, curator, and writer working in Peoria and Bloomington-Normal, IL. She is the Curator at University Galleries of Illinois State University where she recently opened her first exhibition Katie Bell: Standing Arrangement. She is also the director and co-founder of Project 1612, a short-term residency and independent artist-run space in the garage at her home. Her artist interviews and exhibition reviews have been published in Sixty Inches From Center and Expose Art Magazine. Bingham’s work has been exhibited at: Woman Made Gallery, Chicago; Neon Heater, Findlay, Ohio; Public Space One, Iowa City; Mantel Art Space, San Antonia; Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa; and Heartbreaker, Peoria, Illinois, among others. She earned her M.A. in 2014 and M.F.A. in 2016 in Painting from Bradley University, and her B.A. from Monmouth College in 2012. 

Bingham’s CV

Tangled thoughts of childhood and early adulthood are the core of my work. I am interested in the process of reflecting and recreating personal childhood memories through pairing happier moments with times that reveal the harsh reality of the human condition. After the passing of my closest childhood friend, due to drug addiction, memories from my youth resurfaced. Since his death, I have been dissecting our friendship, mulling over the years as it developed from innocent childhood play to complex and confused interactions of our early adulthood, a time he never left. Vivid memories of playing outside, building forts, and exploring the cemetery across from our homes are interwoven with late night bar sounds, long summer days, and tiresome arguments. As I wrestle with this new reality, my work has become an attempt to preserve those memories.

The smell of grass,
our blue playhouse,
Barbie and G.I. Joe.
Loose tie-dye shirts,
tombstones across the street,
memories that still, and will,
play on repeat.
Awkward knees, bright eyes,
forts for us alone.
Desires to be older,
longing to be children,
pain took you forever,
and I took her home.