The 2016 season finale of Art On The Rocks, sponsored by Dale’s Seasoning, is going to be truly magical. For the first time in the history of the event, the art of illusion will come to life at the Museum with a special performance by Chicago-based magician Jeanette Andrews. Jeanette is not your ordinary magician, and this performance is one you won’t want to miss.
“The show that I’ll be doing at Art On The Rocks is definitely something very, very different,” she said. “It is essentially based on the idea of doing an ultimate abstract blind taste test where the visitors at the Museum will create scented playing cards based on recipes from childhood memories. Visitors will actually perform this small-scale illusion with their cards in their own hands without knowing how they are accomplishing the impossible.”
Andrews fell in love with magic after watching a Siegfried and Roy television special at the age of four, performed her first magic show in preschool, and booked her first paid show when she was six. Her interest in magic was more than just a phase, and today, Andrews is an artist-in-residence at the Repertory Theatre in Seaside, Florida, the only magician worldwide to ever hold such a position.
To be considered an artist is something Andrews has worked for her entire career. Take a look at the history of magic, she said, and you will see that the profession was once just as prestigious as opera, theatre, or any other artistic trade.
“A big part of what has been my driving force for the last 10 years of my practice is trying to bring magic back into the arts sector as it used to be, and I feel incredibly privileged to be part of a tradition that I see as deeply beautiful,” Andrews said. “Since I was in my early teens, I’ve always been very interested in this idea that I come from this really interesting field and have had a lot of wonderful mentors who have shown me that this can be an art form. You can use this to express greater ideas and function within that realm.”
Her love for the past and an understanding of what is needed to attract a modern audience have led to a style of magic that is all her own, what she calls a focus on “scientific oddities of perception.” She is fascinated by the experience of scent and the ways in which magic allows her to explore scent and memory. For Andrews, creating a moment that points to something greater in the lives of her audience is why she performs.
“I firmly believe that the world that we live in is genuinely amazing at every turn, and it’s something that we don’t think about because it’s so overwhelming, and we just can’t process all the information that is coming at us constantly,” she said. “It’s my job to create pieces that prompt visitors and viewers to think a little more broadly about something in their everyday experience and outside of how they normally think about this genuinely amazing nature of things that happen around us everyday.”
For a preview of Andrews’ work, check out this video which includes highlights from her recent performances: