Jessica Cochran

  • I am Deputy Director at the Renaissance Society, an independent 501(c)3 contemporary art museum located on the University of Chicago campus. There, I work to manage the institution's resources to best enable the Ren's mission to support contemporary artists and ideas. 

  • An educator, I am a Lecturer in the Department of Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There I teach courses related to curatorial practice and history, art world and market studies, professional development, and nonprofit finance. 

  • I founded Haynes Court in 2020. This project space is located in a converted garage in the back of a former bakery turned residence, where I live in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. Haynes shows work by contemporary artists working in Chicago and internationally. 

  • Art & Field is my collection and curatorial management advisory for which I primarily help clients grow and manage their art collections, as well as consult on a range of projects related to exhibitions. I have worked with the Rodney D. Lubeznik Collection, Balyasny Asset Management, Spear Street Capital, Valerio Dewault Tran & Associates, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the Evanston Art Center in addition to numerous private clients. *I am not currently taking clients. 

  • As an independent curator, I have organized dozens of exhibitions, recently for Columbia College Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center, Loyola University, and the Center for Book Arts in New York.  My projects have garnered reviews in Artforum, Art Papers, the Chicago Tribune, Art in Print, Chicago Reader, Newcity, and others.


Named to Newcity’s “Art 50” in 2022 and a "curator to watch" by Chicago Magazine in 2013, I have independently curated exhibitions for numerous organizations, including the Contemporary Arts Council, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Franklin, What it Is, the MDW art fair and Center for Book Arts in New York.

For over seven years, I was a curator in academic galleries at Columbia College Chicago and Dominican University. Prior to that, I developed innovative public programming as Director of Marketing and Programs at Art Chicago and NEXT: The Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art, where I organized the inaugural Converge Chicago: Contemporary Curators Forums.

Academically and curatorially, my broad areas of interest include emerging art, the history and theory of curatorial practice, art world studies, artists' books, and social practice; my curating has received the support of the Clinton Hill Foundation and Craft Research Fund, and I have presented my research at the College Art Association Annual Conference, as well as Open Engagement.

My writing has appeared in journals, magazines and exhibition catalogs for numerous museums, organizations and artists. I am a contributor De Gruyter’s Art Market Dictionary. 

From 2013 until 2017 I served on the Board of Directors of Spudnik Press, and I served on the Junior Board of Directors of threewalls.