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Wednesday, March 6, 2013 01:43 pm

The Pharmacy: Member Artist Rachel Jennings

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"Glowing, Them All" by Rachel Jennings

This is the second in a series of posts leading up to the Saturday March 9 group exhibit of work by members of local art collective The Pharmacy.

"This is my first experience out of school," enthuses Pharmacy member Rachel Jennings, who graduated from U of I in Champaign in May of 2012. "I love it a lot. It’s a lot different from anything I’ve ever seen in Springfield." Like founding member Philip Ackerman,one thing that strikes her as unique is the amount of interest generated by Pharmacy exhibitions. "The first show I went to, before I was a member, I was really surprised at the number of people that were there and the different types of people that were there, so that encouraged me to join." Jennings also appreciates the freewheeling atmosphere of self-expression at other events The Pharmacy hosts, such as the open mic nights run by Adam Nicholson. "I was used to that type of environment at school,"she says, "but I haven’t really had that since I graduated."

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"Two Medals" by Rachel Jennings

Jennings considers herself something of an artistic multitasker. "I usually have, like, five different projects going on at the same time.I used to work very singularly and I would get very frustrated when I was working on just one project. My professor gave me the advice to work on multiple projects at the same time, so now I’ve just kind of gotten into that groove," she says.

Jennings pieces seem to draw on a rich, inner life, one that had its origin in an isolated upbringing. "Living out in the country, you kind of have to come up with your own ways of entertaining yourself. So I have this other world in my head, and that always comes out in my work," she says."I’m really interested in memory and personal recollections, and the preservation of those." Themes that recur in her work include religion, folklore and farming communities.

Her work is not constrained to any one medium. "Anything that can best articulate what I want to get across is what I'll use, so if it’s installation then I’m gonna do installation, if it’s drawing, I’ll draw, if it’s performance, I’ll do a performance." This weekend, Jennings says she will be displaying two installations and "a couple of regular 2-D pieces."

Rachel Jennings work appears as part of The Pharmacy's 5th group exhibit at 1022 S.Pasfield, this Saturday, March 9 from 6PM-9PM.

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