Rachael m. Gonzalez

(maiden name Rachael McHan)

Rachael M. Gonzalez was born and raised in rural Connecticut before relocating to Chicago IL to pursue a career in the arts. She attended North Park University’s fine arts program, led by internationally known artists Tim Lowly and Nnenna Okore. While at undergraduate, Gonzalez focused mostly on acrylic painting and printmaking. During her senior year and after, she spent time working as a curatorial assistant to Gillock Gallery in Evanston, as well as working under Tim Lowly as his painting assistant for the summer of 2009 and for some time after.

During her first few years after undergraduate, she showed extensively around the Chicagoland area as well as an alternative space opportunity in Paris, France. Other notable shows include the University of Missouri, Kolin del Rio in LA, and the Hyde Park Art Center in south chicago. Her work has also been featured in several magazines, journals and publications. Gonzalez’s aesthetic has been described over the years as dark, hopeful, deeply emotional, and spiritually inclined. Her alma mater placed great emphasis on spirituality in general, due to their roots in the Swedish Covenant- and while Gonzalez is not religious, there is a deeply spiritual nature and drive to her work. As a meditator and a Buddhist, her process involved meditation early on- the layers of paint are built up methodically and then broken down by sanding and scraping, again and again sometimes over a period of months or even years. Her Senior Exhibition in 2009 featured around 10 paintings that were worked on continuously daily for over a year. Her work post-graduation was frequently commented upon as resembling religious icons due to their inner glow and atmospheric quality.

Around 2012, she gravitated towards the healing arts while working as a caregiver for Tim Lowly’s daughter, Temma. In 2013 Gonzalez returned to school and became a licensed massage therapist. She also began deepening her studies in folk medicine, attending herbal medicine conferences and seeking teachers. She met her husband, Thomas Gonzalez (architect) in October of 2014. For several years, she worked as a bodywork practitioner at medical clinics and on a volunteer basis around Chicago; which became a huge influence on her art-work, due to the direct and intimate nature of working with hands on strangers. At this time, more creative themes began to emerge involving community, the natural world, and the elements.

In 2018 Gonzalez and her husband relocated to Mexico City, Mexico for half a year. During that time, Gonzalez further focused her studies in the healing arts, enrolling in a clinical herbalism program, and was attuned as a Reiki Practitioner. She spent the majority of 2018 observing the culture and customs of Mexico, studying herbalism and spirit work, and painting. Her artistic process evolved a bit during this time in Mexico, slowing down, involving less sanding and scraping and focusing instead on more intentional movement. Each board is carefully infused with Reiki, and her paints are mixed with medicinal flower essences. The subject matter remains dark, quiet and serene; but she hopes the medicine and intention in the work comes through.

Rachael Gonzalez now lives in Milwaukee, WI.

CV

Email rachmgonzalez@gmail.com
Instagram @rachaelmgonzalez, @rachmgonzalez, @familiar_mke

Education
B.A. in Art, North Park University, Chicago, IL May 2009
 
Art Exhibitions (in reverse chronological order)

 2018
•Beerline cafe (SOLO) Milwaukee WI October 2018- December 2018
•Art Bar Holiday Small works Show (group) October 2018- December 2018
2016
• Arts for Life Sq Ft show (group), Glenview, March 2016
2015
• Book Release: exhibit for “Alchemy’s Daughter”, which displayed illustrations by Rachael McHan, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago IL­ 2015 (solo)
•Feminisms;Plr., (group), Womanmade Gallery, Chicago IL­ May 2015
2013
• Alumni Show (Group), North Park University, Chicago IL- October 2013
•I, Bellyslider (solo), Ground Control Gallery, Chicago IL, August 2013
• Certain Densities (group), George Caleb Bingham Gallery, Columbia MO, July 2013
• Humans Being II (group), Womanmade Gallery, Chicago IL May 2013
• Wunderkammer; Miniatures and Curiosities (group), collaborative project between Rachael McHan and Tim Lowly, Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Culver City CA- February 2013
 2012
• Alumni Show (Group), North Park University, Chicago IL- October 2012
• Inkwell Magazine 1st Anniversary Show (group), Lincoln Loft, Chicago IL- September 2012
• "Buy Art Not People Fundraiser" (group), Flourish Studios, Chicago IL- May 2012
 2011
• “Recent Works by Rachael McHan”, (solo), Lenny & Me Home @ the art spot, Chicago IL-2011
• “Bleeding HeArts Fest / Arts Fest”, (participant, curator), New Rock Theatre, Chicago IL-2011
• “WAIT: recent works by Rachael McHan”, (solo), Impala Studio Collective, Chicago IL-2011
• “Spring” (group), Impala Studio Collective, Chicago IL-2011
• “Obbity Fest / Arts Fest” (participant, curator), New Rock Theatre, Chicago IL-2011
• “A Testimony to Being”, (group), Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago IL-2011
• Buy Art Not People- Ethos Concert with a Cause- Panel Artist, Chicago IL- October 15th 2011
• “Flesh and Bone II”, (group), Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago IL-2011
• “2011 Touched By Fire Exposition”, (group), Coopers Fine Art Gallery, Toronto, Ontario-  2011
 2010
• “ZORA: How I understand” (group), Gillock Gallery, Evanston IL- 2010
• “I, Belly Slider” (Solo), Dollop, Chicago IL-2010
• “Dreams of Healing” (group), Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago IL-2010
• Book Release: a drawing small exhibit for “Nonna’s Book of Mysteries”, which displayed illustrations by Rachael McHan, Beckett’s, Chicago IL- 2010 (solo)
• “Untitled Show” (group), Vinic Wine Co. Presented by Gillock Gallery, Evanston IL-2010
• “North Park University Alumni Triennial” (group), North Park University, Chicago IL-2010
• “Small Works Show: presented by Gillock Gallery”, (group), Paris, France- 2010
 2009
• “Senior Undergraduate Art Exhibitions”(group), North Park University, Chicago IL- 2009
• “Pretty Dusty Polaroids” (Solo), Gillock Gallery, Evanston IL- 2009
• “Femfest: Celebrating Women and the Arts” (Curator and Exhibitor)-North Park University, March 2009
• “TEETH” (Solo), People Lounge, Wicker Park, Chicago IL-2009
• “Objects that Carry Memory” (Solo), Evanston Atelier, Evanston IL-2009
• “Not for Sale: David Gracie, Justin Jacobson, Rachael McHan, Audrey Niffenegger, and Tim Lowly” (group), Gillock Gallery, Evanston IL- 2009
• “For the Time Beings: Rachael McHan and Dustin Covert”, Fill in the Blank Gallery, Chicago IL-2009
 2008
• “Scholarship Art Exhibition” (group), North Park University, Chicago IL-2008
• “Epiphany: A Group Art Exhibition” (group), in collaboration with the Student Art Association at North Park University, Epiphany Church, Chicago, IL-2008
 2007
• Junior Art Exhibition (group), North Park University, Chicago IL-2007
• “Freaks: Recent Works by Rachael McHan” (solo), in collaboration with the Student Art Association at North Park University, Chicago IL-2007
 2006
• “Art for Africa: Collaborative Artist’ Charity” (group),
North Park University, Chicago IL-2006
• “Sophomore Art Exhibition” (group), North Park University, Chicago IL-2006
 
Related Art Activities (in reverse chronological order)

•Featured Artist Loam magazine, August 2018, Colorado based
•Founding member of the art collective CREATURA, 2015, Chicago IL
•Simple.Honest.Work studio assistant 2014-2017, Chicago IL
•Illustrated Meekling Press’ Demons Off chapbook, 2015, Chicago IL
•Illustrated books I&II of the Alchemy’s Daughter series, 2011/2015, Chicago IL
• Featured Artist, Odradek Theatre Co (Artist of the month), 2013, Chicago IL
• Featured Artist, Nectar Magazine, October 2012
• Featured Artist, Nothin' Less Newspaper, Issue #2, 2012, Chicago IL
• Featured Artist, The Oyez Review, issue #39- 2012, Chicago IL
• Illustrator to “NOTHIN LESS NEWS, newspaper, Chicago IL- August 2011 -2012
• Featured Artist, Inkwell Mag, Halloween Issue, 2011- Chicago, IL
• Logan Square Literary Review- Featured Artist, Winter Issue 2011-12, Chicago IL
• INTRANSIT inc (N.F.P.), Artistic Director (January 2011-Present), Chicago IL
• Impala gallery assistant, Chicago IL- February-August 2011, Chicago IL
• Painting and Printmaking Assistant to Tim Lowly (Artist in Residence and Curator to North Park University) May 2009- 2010, Chicago IL
• Assistant to the Director, Gillock Gallery, Evanston IL- September 2008-January 2009
• Illustrator & Authors’ Assistant, Lakestreet Press, Chicago IL- November-May 2010
• Zines maker from 2008-2016 under the monicker The Bernard St Collective, remedy and form, and mender. Her zines were sold at Chicago Zine Fest, Chicago Comics, saki, and at Quimbys in Chicago, IL
 
Curatorial / Assistant Experience (in reverse chronological order)

• Curator- Obbity Arts Festival, New Rock Theatre, July 2011, Chicago IL
• Impala Studio Collective Exhibitions February thru July 2011, Chicago IL
• Curator- Bleeding Hearts Festival, New Rock Theatre, February 2011, Chicago IL
• Small Works Show- Gillock Gallery, November 2010, Paris France
• Assistant to the Artist; Tim Lowly, Solo & Collaborative Exhibitions, 2009, Illinois/Michigan/Indiana
• Student Art Exhibitions, North Park University, 2005-2009, Chicago IL
• Project Focus Benefit, Cafe Mestizo, 2008, Chicago IL
• Project Focus Benefit, Q-4 MultiKulti, 2008, Chicago IL
• Scholarship Exhibitions, North Park University, 2005-2009, Chicago IL
• The Bethlehem Arts Festival at the Bridgewater Fair, 2005, Bridgewater CT
• CT After School Art Programs Charity Benefit Art Exhibitions, 2005, Washington CT
 
Teaching
•Robot building after-school programs, Robotcity Workshop, 2010-2012, Chicago IL
• Fill in The Blank Gallery, Lincoln Square, 2009, Chicago IL