Figures / Faces

Saturday, Apr 10 – May 23, 2021

1717 Central St.
Evanston, IL 60201

Featuring Jenie Gao, Charity Henderson, Mary Porterfield, Nancy Rosen and Kateryna Tkachenko


MEET THE ARTISTS: Sunday, April 11 from 12:00 – 3:30pm | Registration is required.

VIRTUAL ARTIST TALK: Thursday, April 29 from 5:30 – 6:30pm | Registration is required.


Jenie Gao is a full-time artist, creative director, and entrepreneur. She specializes in social practice and impact projects, using mediums such as murals, public art, printmaking, and storytelling. She consults for organizations on best practices and systems centered on equity.

Prior to founding her business, Jenie worked not only in the arts industry, but also the public school and manufacturing sectors. Through her cross section of experiences, she has become attuned to how the design of organizations—from their hiring practices to programming—determines who has access to creativity, autonomy, leadership, and decision-making. Jenie advocates for fair treatment of labor as a path to equity and diversity in the arts and the greater community that the arts represent. She currently runs a 1,700 square foot production studio in Madison, Wisconsin, and has hosted 22 emerging artists and art students through her apprenticeship program.


Charity Henderson is a figurative artist residing in Queens, NYC. She received her BFA in Painting at SUNY Brockport in 2010, and an MFA from UMass Dartmouth on a Distinguished Artist Fellowship in 2013. Charity has also studied painting in Italy, Sicily, and France. Currently, she exhibits at the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan, and regularly presents her work in solo and group shows throughout the United States. In early 2018, she held her first NYC solo exhibition, Beneath the Surface, through the arts nonprofit Chashama.  In October 2019, she presented her first commercial solo exhibition with John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY.


Mary Porterfield has exhibited both nationally and internationally at venues including the Lim Lip Museum in South Korea, the Phoenix Art Museum, the San Diego Art Institute, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Kohler Arts Center, the Dubuque Art Museum, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, the Rockford Art Museum and the Weatherspoon Museum.  Solo shows have included the Hofheimer Gallery (Chicago, Il), the Packer-Schopf Gallery (Chicago, Il), Indiana University-NW (Gary, IN), the University of Illinois (Urbana, Il) and the West Valley Art Museum (Surprise, Il).    Honors include three Illinois Artist Council Grants, a City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Grant (DCASE), a Puffin Foundation Grant, and three Chicago Community Arts Assistance Program Grants.  Porterfield teaches at Northeastern Illinois University and received an MFA from Arizona State University.  She is represented by the Hofheimer Gallery in Chicago, Il.


Nancy Rosen was born in Chicago and except for her four years at the Kansas City Art Institute where she earned a BFA in painting and sculpture, Chicago is where she has remained. During that time Nancy has devoted her life to painting exhibiting and teaching. Nancy has shown her work in galleries and exhibits across the country, her paintings have also have been seen in feature films and television series; most notably as the artist who created paintings for Lily Tomlin’s character Frankie in the Netflix hit series Grace and Frankie. Nancy’s painting are difficult to categorize due to the unique use of mixed media and surfaces, but most are figurative. Nancy combines oil bars, china markers, graphite, oil paint on a variety of surfaces including gessoed paper, pieced and hand made exotic papers, linen and rice paper. The pieces feature infinite detail and layers, textures and colors. Nancy has shown in a variety of settings including numerous solo shows, venues include Kansas City Art Coalition, Elmhurst Museum, Milliken University, The Post Family and the Illinois Art Institute. Nancy is a dedicated painter and a gifted teacher and mentor.


Kateryna Tkachenko is an artist born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. She received her MFA at Kharkiv Academy of Design and Arts with a specialization in mural art. Tkachenko is also a member of the Union of Artists of Ukraine. Her work has been exhibited at Agitator Gallery (Chicago, IL), Uptown Art Center (Chicago, IL), Taras Shevchenko House Museum (Kyiv, Ukraine), University of Shevchenko (Kyiv, Ukraine), M17 Gallery (Kyiv, Ukraine) and more. Tkachenko believes humankind is an integral part of the universe, like all living things that surround it. Her work celebrates the beauty of the universe in all of its manifestations.