As you look closer at Kate Hendrickson’s works on paper, you will see that there are bits of concealed Hebrew words peaking out and revealing themselves from their surrounding abstracted urban and natural environs. Her artwork explores and reconciles feelings of discomfort within revealing that Judaism is the faith she has chosen. Hendrickson hopes that these works on paper will help everyone feel more comfortable proudly expressing who they really are.
There is a history of hiding who you are. Before Constantine the Great, Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. They often used the symbol of a fish to signify Jesus because the Greek word for fish, Ichthys, is so close to the pronunciation for Jesus. This iconography continued into the Byzantine era. Similarly, Jews have concealed their faith for centuries by hiding symbols of their Judaism for fear of antisemitism. Crypto-Jews outwardly converted during the Inquisition but continued to practice their religion, disguising it ingeniously from the authorities. To this day, people are still masking who they are for fear of rejection.
Kate Hendrickson lives and works in both Chicago and Sarasota. She earned her MFA from University of Denver. She has been a visiting artist at the School of Art and Design of West Virginia University. She is a Visiting Committee Member to the College of Creative Arts of WVU and a Creative Consultant in their mentorship program. Hendrickson’s work has been included in group exhibitions at Grace Howl Contemporary Art (Sarasota, FL), Bridgeport Art Center (Chicago, IL), ARC Gallery (Chicago, IL), and the Art Center of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL). Her work has also been exhibited through Mesh Art Gallery (Chicago, IL ) at Print Fairs at the McNay Fine Art Museum (San Antonio, TX), Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis, MN), and the Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, OH).