Rebecca Beachy/Chicago

Rebecca Beachy, installing “road dash (double),” from road-kill cremains, using a hatchet and a flour sifter. Dimensions: 6 in. x 10 ft. x2 w/ 30 ft gap from “Roving Room” Habersham Mills, Georgia, 2014
Photo credit: Audrey Hynes


down to earth: tracing the sutures
of the American A2 bomber jacket

Saturday, July/22/2017, 18:30 h.

FRISE AiR, Arnoldstraße 26-30, 22765 Hamburg

Re-examining a heritage of disaster sensed in the the smooth Elbe river bricks of Hamburg back in 2014, Rebecca returns to FRISE with a project that begins to stitch together pieces of a personal history—beginning with hand-processed leather from two American deer hides and a pattern traced out of her grandfather’s personal monument, his WW2 bomber jacket.


Rebecca Beachy’s work presents the accumulation of reformed and tended animal material, collected among many walks and through many acquaintances over many years. This includes her 2014 work with FRISE,
“I walked in particular weather,” which marked experiences with Hamburg’s Elbe River, communication with local birds, and histories sensed through the objects encountered—including ruined-bricks turned river-stones found during the Elbe River’s low tide phases.

Concerned with the effect of time and disaster on the places we inhabit, Rebecca’s recent project Inherencies, located cremated animal bones and mud from birds’ nests as mortar, patching the rough brick exhibition space with these materials alongside ash-casted sculptural objects and tended animal matter, meeting the question, “how repair ruin?”

“Inherencies” @ New Capital Projects, Chicago, 2015/2016

Upon return to Hamburg in 2017, Rebecca explores more deeply an underlying heritage sensed in the smooth Elbe river bricks as possible remnants of her grandfather’s bombing campaigns over Germany during 1943-1944.

Through an attempt to replicate her grandfather’s historical American “bomber jacket” and using twenty-seven personal diary entries from his WW2 missions as radio-operator and bombardier within the 8th American Air Force, Beachy’s current project takes this material reflection further, meditating on the process of tanning leather from raw deer skin as a way of addressing the space between abstract aggression (from a disembodied distance) and more intimate, small-scale manifestations of the same.

“Inherencies” @ New Capital Projects, Chicago, 2015/2016

While the broken bricks smoothed over by the river reflect the story of a wounded city, the development of leather out of raw skin tells a quieter history: of wounded animal bodies tended to and worn as monuments of disaster. This attempt to address an individual alienation from history and material positions leather itself as a traumatized landscape and considers the “heroic” leather bomber jacket as a wounded body worn as an emblem of a larger, incomprehensible trauma.

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Born: Denver, Colorado, 1982


2011 M.F.A. Studio Arts, University of Illinois, Chicago
2009 M.A. Art History, University of Illinois, Chicago, Advisor: Hannah B. Higgins, Thesis: “Looking at Columbine: Trauma, Affect and Disaster Photography”
2004 B.A. Visual Arts, Minor in English. University of Northern Colorado, Greeley w/Honors


2016-present Instructor, AP Sculpture, Chicago High School for the Arts

2014-present Instructor, Contemporary Practices & Material Studies, Chicago High School for the Arts

2011-2017 Taxidermist & volunteer educator, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, IL

2012-2017 Secondary education tutor, Educational Endeavors, Chicago, IL


2014 Newcity 2014 Chicago Breakout Artist

2013-2014 Chicago Sister Cities International Fellowship, Hamburg Ministry of Culture

2010-2011 Graduate Assistantship, University of Illinois, Chicago

2010 School of Art & Design Department Award, University of Illinois, Chicago

2007-2008 Graduate Assistantship, University of Illinois, Chicago


2016 Inherencies, New Capital Projects, Chicago, IL

2013 Outhouse entymology, Outhouse @ the Sewing Barn, 8550OHIO, Chesterhill, OH

2012 Ground, Roxaboxen Exhibitions, Chicago, IL

2004 Metamorphosis, University of Northern Colorado, Oak Room Gallery, Greeley, CO


2017 Coming of Age, Sector 2337, Chicago, IL

2016 New Age Now, Sector 2337, Chicago, IL

2015 Keep Your Mind in Hell & Despair Not, The Terraformer, Chicago, IL, by Christopher Smith

2014 Roving Room, Hambersham Mills, GA, by Kelly Kaczynski & Cori Williams

2014 I Walked in Particular Weather: Rebecca Beachy & Tim Nickodemus, FRISE Künstlerhaus Hamburg, Germany, sponsored by Chicago/Hamburg Sister Cities International Exchange