Christa Donner

Chicago, IL


Christa Donner was born in 1975 in Morristown, New Jersey. Her father, an oboe player with a doctorate in physics and her mother, a professional flautist and talented accordionist, soon decided to relocate to the bustling metropolis that is Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Christa spent most of her formative years.

After a brief stint as a magazine cover model post high school, Donner began to employ various techniques to disseminate information on body image and the media to teenage girls, including the publication of several small-press zines (Sissy, Ladyfriend, etc). She went on to study at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Ohio, spending a semester at the New York Studio Program in Manhattan where she worked with critics and artists, gained further perspective into the creepy world of modeling, developed some health problems, and began a new body of work based on her personal experiences. She launched her first solo exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art in 1999 as the recipient of a Wendy L. Moore Emerging Artist Award. In 2005 she earned an MFA degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and has since been actively exhibiting, publishing, curating and teaching.

Christa Donner uses large-scale drawings and small-press publications to explore issues around the human body and body image. Her process often incorporates public projects and collaborations around narratives of bodily experience. Christa's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in New York, Los Angeles, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Colombia, Cyprus, Sweden, Finland, and throughout the United States; including Kravets-Wehby Gallery and Longwood Arts Project (NY); POST Gallery (Los Angeles); the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (Cleveland); Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh); BankART NYK (Yokohama, Japan); the ANTI Festival of Contemporary Art(Kuopio, Finland); and the Centro Columbo Americano (Medellin, Colombia).

Now based in Chicago, Christa teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and harbors a healthy obsession for independent comics and other small-press publications. She continues to experiment with the sculptural and narrative properties of ink and paper as well as various print and digital media, and she doesn't plan to stop anytime soon

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