I’m inspired to use my painting as a devotional practice where I meditate on emotional embodiment, personal transformation, and prayerful experience.
The rituals of making art are my tools to cast magic onto canvas to create talismen of beauty. It is my joy to send art out into the world. My primary series are Beautiful Bodies where I use skeletons with a heart to remind people to “be in your body and see with your heart” and Portraits of Rivers where I celebrate the embodied resonance of rivers.
Working as part of the Jackson Square Artist Community in New Orleans since 2013 has affirmed for me that the gift of art is that it nurtures joy, creates feelings of abundance in our hearts and homes, and shares the spiritual support and magical empowerment that the sweetness of beauty can provide.
Jenelle Leigh Campion’s practice as an interdisciplinary artist is inspired by a desire to support people to experience the world with their mystical senses. She is an American who was born in Chicago, Illinois, grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and now resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Campion’s creative practice grew out of her work as a set designer in both high school and college and also training in holistic healing arts like shamanic healing and massage therapy. Through these practices she learned how color and shape influence our sense of relationship to our bodies and our environments. Art making became her personal cauldron for self-discovery and a place to express her celebration of the magical side of life.
An undergraduate degree in Art History and a minor in American Studies from Rutgers University gave her a broad exposure to the history of how people have spoken with symbols across time and culture. In 2009 she moved to Oakland, California to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Inquiry and a certification in Sound, Voice and Music Healing where she created a series of art altars which would become her body of work “Portraits of Rivers“. This MFA programs taught her how to open to the flow of her own artistic process and develop a mature sense of voice, perspective and technique.
Campion began selling art on Pirate’s Alley in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA in 2013 and began painting her “Beautiful Bodies” series. The next year she was able to move into Jackson Square where she can be found seasonally selling her art and enjoying the vibrant culture and creative community of New Orleans. She has also been sharing images of her art and life and prompts for creative self care on her blog and newsletter.
Jenelle Leigh Campion was born to a Czech, Polish and Sicilian family rooted in Chicago, IL. She grew up in New Jersey, as her immediate family moved there when she was a small child.
Her practice as a visual artist grew out of working as a set designer in both high school and college. Through the theater arts she learned how color and shape can be used to create a sense of environment. An undergraduate degree in Art History and a minor in American Studies from Rutgers University gave her broad exposure to the history of how people have spoken with symbols. Enrolling in the Health Choices Holistic Massage school after graduation gave Campion practical experience in the art of holistic healing, in addition to her earlier training.
In 2003 Campion went to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to work as a volunteer teacher at the Red Cloud Indian School, where she served as a kindergarten aide and art teacher for grades K – 8. Working in very rural country on a Jesuit mission school and living alongside the Lakota people for three years helped her to deepen a prayerful relationship with her spirituality and a larger sense of community. Upon leaving the reservation in 2006 she moved to Chicago, where her parents had relocated. There she spent a year training in Cranial Sacral Sacred Journey Therapy at the Beyond Wellness Institute. During this time she traded massage for guitar lessons from local folk singer Shelly Miller and started to consciously develop her practice as an artist.
Campion moved to New Orleans, LA, in 2007 and was immensely inspired by the city, where she experienced people creating art to engage, inspire, remember and reflect. Living in a city at the mouth of the Mississippi River exposed her to the presence of a river interweaving itself into the identity of those who live on its shores. While there, Campion began painting in an abstract style, using dots and lines to develop an emotional Morse code.
In 2009 she moved to Oakland, CA, to pursue a certification in Sound, Voice and Music Healing and a MFA degree in Creative Inquiry, both through the California Institute of Integral Studies. Inspired by her training in sound healing with luminous teachers like Silvia Nakkach and Jennifer Berezan, Campion wrote and recorded her album, How To Heal A Broken Heart, with Camper’s Rules Records in Brooklyn, NY, to reflect the wisdom she had gained about the healing power of sound. The MFA program challenged Campion to explore her own artistic process. Her MFA thesis project, Rivers, was a series of art altars celebrating interconnectedness with nature by filling in maps of rivers with her unique painting style juxtaposed with text on the side of the canvas and a shelf of found objects to the bottom. The final installation involved a sound piece made from recordings of various rivers. During this time, Campion developed a mature sense of voice, perspective and technique.
2012 brought Campion back to New Orleans, where she began painting her Beautiful Bodies and selling them in Pirate’s Alley in the French Quarter. To further her understanding of archetypal symbolism, she studied with the Pacific Mystery School through a three-year meditative study of the cosmology of the tarot, which lasted from 2010 – 2013. Also in 2013, she was able to obtain a permit to sell art as part of the Jackson Square Artists Colony, where she continues sharing her creative practice both as a street artist and through her ever-evolving social media practices.
Currently, Campion is continuing to explore both her Beautiful Bodies series and her Portraits of Rivers. She has plans to begin a body of tarot card paintings based on her personal visionary experiences and maintains a song writing practie. From 2014 – 2016 as part of the collaborative team Collabo Industries, Campion helped to produce the podcast Sound Philosophy which hosts discussions about the way sound intersects with our daily lives. She is now studying Faerie Wicca and Goddess Spirituality with Francesca De Grandis in her Third Road Tradition.
Campion’s work has been on display in the group shows The Elegant Line (2011) and Offering: Works of Text and Image (2011) at the Village Theater Gallery in Danville, CA; Telling Stories Through Art (2012) at the Diablo Valley College Gallery in Pleasant Hill, CA; at Circus, Circus, Circus (2012), Big Top Gallery Fundraising Show (2013) at the Big Top Gallery in New Orleans, LA; and at various group shows at Gallery Kebab in the St. Claude Arts District of New Orleans (2014-2015).
Campion has had solo exhibitions in the CIIS Minna St Gallery (2012), the Center for Spiritual Living (2012) in San Francisco, CA, and daily in Jackson Square in New Orleans, LA.
Education2012 Master in Fine Arts: Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts, California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, CA 2002 Bachelors of Arts: Art History, Minor: American Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Exhibitions* = solo shows marked by an asterisk
2014 – Current
Year Round: *Jackson Square, selling original art in the French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
Apr – Nov: *World Tree Healing, solo art display in a community healing center, Chicago, IL
Sep: Skewer Gallery Group Show (Play), New Orleans, LA
Jun, Aug, Sep: Skewer Gallery Group Show: Mythos, Text, Body, New Orleans, LA
Feb – Dec: *Pirates Alley/Royal Street, selling original art in the French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
Apr: *St. Claude Night Market, New Orleans, LA
Aug: Summertime Studios, New Orleans, LA
Nov: Big Top Gallery (Fundraising Show), New Orleans, LA
Jan – Feb: Diablo Valley College Art Gallery, Telling Stories Through Art, Pleasant Valley, CA
Apr: *CIIS Minna Gallery, MFA thesis exhibition: Rivers, San Francisco, CA
May: *San Francisco Spiritual Enrichment Center, Rivers, San Francisco, CA
Sep: Big Top Gallery, Circus, Circus, Circus, New Orleans, LA
Oct: Big Top Gallery, Pop-up gallery at Voodoo Fest, New Orleans, LA
Jul: Village Theater Art Gallery, The Elegant Line, Danville, CA
Sep – Oct: Village Theater Art Gallery, Offerings: Works of Text and Image, Danville, CA
Volunteer Experience2015 – Current
Jackson Square Artist Committee Member: Participated in maintaining communication between the Jackson Square Artists community and the city of New Orleans.
Aug: Girls Rock Camp, Chair Massage for volunteers, New Orleans, LA
Collaboration2017 – 2019
Apr: Art Donation, RUBARB Fundraiser, New Orleans, LA
Apr: Art Donation, Bike Easy Fundraiser, New Orleans, LA
2015 – 2016
Jan – Dec: Collabo Industries, Co-host of the Sound Philosophy Podcast , New Orleans, LA
Aug: Art Donation, Iron Rail Library Fundraiser, New Orleans, LA
Sep: Art Donation, Goat in the Road Theater Fundraiser, New Orleans, LA
Jan – Dec: Collabo Industries, Co-host of the Sound Philosophy, New Orleans, LA
Jan: Open Screens, Hey Café, New Orleans, LA
Jan: Tarot Reader, Krewe of the Rolling Elvi Event, New Orleans, LA
Mar: Art Donation, RUBARB Fundraiser, New Orleans, LA
May: Tarot Reader, New Orleans Poetry Brothel, New Orleans, LA
Nov: Poetry contribution, Radical Healers Zine, New Orleans, LA
Mar: Tarot Reader, New Orleans Poetry Brothel, New Orleans, LA
May: Art Donation, RUBARB Fundraiser, New Orleans, LA
Oct: Recorded at the Never Records installation, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans LA
Nov: Tarot Reader, New Orleans Poetry Brothel, New Orleans, LA
Jun: Performer, Saraswati Salon, San Francisco, CA
Sep – Dec: Volunteer, Rock, Paper, Scissors Art Collective, Oakland, CA
May: Performer, Sing In The Spring, San Francisco, CA
Tattoo Participant, Shelly Jackson, Skin: A Living Work of Art, Brooklyn, NY
CIIS student gallery: What is Uniquely Human?, San Francisco, CA
CIIS student gallery: Art As Healing Object, San Francisco, CA
CIIS student gallery: Student solo shows, San Francisco, CA
Teaching Experience2003 – 2006
Americorps Volunteer: Art Teacher Grades K-8, Our Lady of Lourdes School, Porcupine, SD
Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp: Camp Councilor, Steamboat Springs, CO
House Manager, New Orleans Fringe Festival, New Orleans, LA
Light Board Operator, Rasmussen Productions: Maneater, San Francisco, CA
Stage Manager, New Orleans Fringe Festival: Rebuilding Appalachian Spring, New Orleans, LA
Light/Sound Board Operator, La Nuit Theater: Improv Comedy/Stand Up Open Mics, New Orleans, LA
Stage Crew, University of London: various student productions, London, UK
Stage Hand, Melbourne Fringe Festival: All The News Thats Fit To Print, Melbourne, AU
Stage Manager, Suydam Street Players: Rebecca, New Brunswick, NJ
Set Decorator, Mason Gross School of the Arts: Alice in the Fishbowl, New Brunswick, NJ