Jessica Sladek

Not Just Another Pretty Face 2019

Program Overview


Jessica Sladek

My work considers our connection to the natural world, and how landscape traditions have shaped ideas and relationship towards nature. While photography has a positive history in advocating for the preservation of our environment, some of its successes have also led to prescriptive views of where to look and what to value. I avoid the use of picturesque conventions and idealizations, and instead visualize nature in ecological terms; as a set of competing systems with symbiotic interconnections, where all is of equal value. This dictates that no single component in my photographs out-weigh another, and focuses my attention on seemingly unremarkable areas of nature. By meticulously compositing digital frames, I create large-scale landscapes in which planes of focus flatten and collapse into a crowded field of elements, all jostling for attention. My use of scale, detail, and the avoidance of any sense of comforting visual escape, aim to reference the viewer’s own body, as we are not separate from these underdog landscapes, but instead inextricably entangled in their wildness.


A collaboration for NJAPF may take on the form of creating a photograph in a particular area of nature in the Midwest of interest or personal significance to the patron. I propose this process to begin with a conversation via teleconference to further discuss my work, and their feelings/relationship with local ecosystems, which could result in the creation of a new piece born of these discussions, or with the acquisition of an already finished piece.






For more information or to commission a unique work of art through Not Just Another Pretty Face, contact Maria Nelson at or 773.324.5520 x1014.