Jonathan Franklin

1152 South Taylor, IL 60304



University of Michigan,    BFA


Born in Michigan, the son of a civil engineer, Jonathan Franklin spent much of his childhood in Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.  After studying art at the University of Michigan, he moved to Israel where he lived on a kibbutz and began painting and working as printmaker.  During that period he also served in the Israeli Army.


 He is a teaching artist in public schools and has worked in theater both as a set designer and performer.   Jonathan has been a visual artist for over 40 years and lives Oak Park, Illinois. 

Articles and Reviews

Deb Quantok McCarey, The Three aRts: Recycling, Regenerating, Reinventing, 

                  Oak Journal  ctober 15, 2013.

Douglas Deuchler, Legendary Locals of Oak Park, Arcadia Press, 2013.
Barbara Brotman, "A tragic dive can’t stop her will to live, plan to marry,"                                        Chicago Tribune, 
 August 5, 2012.

Bruce Ingram, "Artist’s work connects him to the world," Pioneer Press,                                              August 2, 2012

Devin Rose, Oak Park artist connects with his viewers while painting murals on                           train embankment, Wednesday   Journal, July 19, 2012.

Ken Reif, "Meet Jonathan Franklin," Oak Park-River Forest Patch, May 25, 2012.

Christopher Riehle "Beverly and the Bard", Chicago Weekly, March 29, 2012.

            "Oak Park artists show off their figures," Pioneer Press,  March 18, 2010.

            "Wall Flowerings,' Wednesday Journal, February 16, 2005.

Jennifer Olivera, “Art’s Meaning is under the surface,” Pioneer Press, January 12, 2005.

Laura Stuart, “Sweets to the Suite,” Wednesday Journal, May 30, 2001.

Vicki Wilson, “Mural Mural On The Wall...” Wednesday Journal, October 8, 1997.   

Vicki Wilson, “All In the Family,” Wednesday Journal, October 8, 1997.

Lucia Mauro, “Art on Harrison strives to be Oak Park’s own Left Bank,”      

            Pioneer Press, September 24,1997.

Doug Deuchler, “Circle’s Medium A Perfect Fit For Our Times,” Wednesday

           Journal, December 6, 1995.    

Justin H. Sunward,  “Multiculturism,” Gay Chicago Magazine, August 10-20, 1995.

Myrna Petlicki,  “He’s got the whole world in his art,” Pioneer Press, July 19,  


Susan Montgomery, “The Walls of Irving School Are Alive,” Pioneer Press,

           January 11, 1995.

Jennie Acker, "Painter's Work Reflects His Upbringing" Wednesday Journal,

           January 13, 1993.

Kathryn Hixson, "Chicago In Review," ARTS Magazine, March, 1992.

David McCracken, "Gallery Scene," Chicago Tribune,

           January 10, 1992

Michael Bonesteel, "Sending in the Clowns", Pioneer Press,        

          October 25, 1990.

Renee Enna, "Art That Appeals to the Viewer", Pioneer Press, May,

          30, 1990.

David McCracken, "Gallery Scene," Chicago Tribune, May 25,  


Ginny Holbert, "Controversy Shrouds Chicago Show," Chicago Sun

          Times, April 22, 1990.

Jamirte Trot, "Exhibition Review," New Art Examiner, April,


Alan Artner, "The Figure: A Continuing Tradition," Chicago    

           Tribune, July 22, 1983.

Carman Elsner, "New Found Freedom Challenges Young Artist," Wisconsin State Journal, September 11, 1982.

           Meir Ronen, "New Painting," Jerusalem Post, October 28,              1981.

Alice Blumenthal, "Deep and Distant," Ma'ariv, October 23, 1981.

David Gerstein, "Paintbrush of the Soul," Al Hamishmar , October

           2, 1981.

Adam Baruch, "Artist Under the Influence," Yediot Achranot,

          August 22, 1980.

Talia Rappaport, "American In Tel Aviv," Davar, August 15, 1980.

Pnina Besacus, "Paintings as Frozen," Al Hamishmar, August 8,


Celi Reviv, "From Vietnam to Kisufim," Yediot Achranot, August 8,


Tali Nativ, "Wandering Painter," Davar, August 8, 1980.

David Botbal, "Odyssey," Hamachaneh, August 13, 1980.

Nissim Mevurach, "Low Profile," Ha'aretz, August 1, 1980.

Ya'acov Bar‑On, "Painted Monologues," Ot, August, 1980.

Miriam Tal, "The Week of Painters," Yediot Achranot, February 16,


Ariel- The Review of Arts and Letters in Israel, No. 48, 1979



  • OPAL 'Stone Soup'  2nd Place, 2015

  • Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, 2003                          

  • Hemingway Centennial Exhibit, Award of Merit, 1999

  • Art Matters Fellowship, 1995

  • Illinois Arts Council Finalist, 1990

  • First Place, Regeneration Art Auction, 1989




A broader view of the range of work that I do on paper and canvas.



A personal perspective on some of my latest works and projects.

2010 - present

2010 - present

2016 'Suspensions,' Narrow Gallery, Oak Park Arms, Oak Park,        


2015 'Brushes and the Age of Dissonance,' West Suburban Medical

           Center, Oak Park, Illinois

2015 'Mixed Nuts and Other Cool Heads,'  Oak Park Public Library, 

           Oak Park, Illinois

2014 'Inside Out, Outside,' Oak Park Temple, Oak Park

2014 'Transplanted, Transfigured, and Transformed' Prairie Title

           Services, Oak Park, Illinois

2013 'Duets' Village Hall of Park, Oak Park, Illinois

2012 ‘Walk Abouts’  Maze Library, Oak Park,Illinois

2012 ‘Voyeurs’  Spex,  Chicago, Illinois

2011 ‘Partitions’  Oak Park Arms, Oak Park, Illinois

2010 ‘Portraits-Revealed and Concealed,’ Oak Park Housing Center,

           Oak Park, Illinois

2010 ‘Inside Outside,’  What It Is, Oak Park, Illinois

2010 ‘Birds and Other Couples,’  William Sullivan Realty, Oak Park ,              Illinois

2009 ‘Hands On,’ Standing Body Studio, Oak Park, Illinois

2009 ‘Group Portraits-Under and Over’, Oak Park Arms, Oak Park,


2008 ‘Altered States,’ Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, Illinois

2008 ‘Encore’, Rush Oak Park Hospital, Oak Park, Illinois

2008 Paintings, Oak Park Arms, Oak Park, Illinois

2007 Paintings, Morton College, Cicero, Illinois

2005 ‘Revisited,’ Oak Park Hospital, Oak Park, Illinois

2005 Paintings, Morava Studios, Oak Park, IL Illinois

2005 Paintings, Old Town Art Center, Chicago, Illinois

2005 ‘Paintings and Undertones,’ Oak Park Public Library, Oak

           Park, Illinois

2004 Paintings, Village Hall of Oak Park, Oak Park, Illinois

2001 Paintings, Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park,


2001 Paintings, O.P. Art League’s Harrison Street Gallery, Oak Park,


1999 Paintings, The Core Center, Chicago, Illinois

1999 “TV Drawings,”  Playboy Corporation, Chicago, Illinois

1999 Paintings, Oak Park Village Hall, Oak Park, Illinois

1998 Paintings, Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, Illinois

1997 Paintings, Forest Park National Bank, Forest Park, Illinois

1995 Paintings,  Lyons Wier + Ginsburg Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1995 Paintings, Oak Park Public Library. Oak Park, Illinois

1995 Painting-Mural, Oak Park Village Hall, Oak Park, Illinois

1994 “Dress Rehearsal,” Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois

1994 Paintings, Lyons Wier Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1992 Paintings, Abel Joseph Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1991 Paintings, Rock Valley College, Rockford, Illinois

1991 Paintings, Union League Club, Chicago, Illinois

1990 Paintings, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, Evanston, Illinois

1990 Paintings, Sybil Larney Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1989 Paintings, Crane Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1988 "Improvised Dialogues," Gallery Vienna, Chicago, Illinois

1985 Paintings, Neville Sargent Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1983 Drawings, D.E.O. Fine Arts, Chicago, Illinois

1982 Prints & Drawings, D.E.O. Fine Arts, Chicago, Illinois

1981 Paintings & Drawings, American Cultural Center, Jerusalem,


1980 "Two American Printmakers," American Cultural Center,

          Tel Aviv, Israel

1980 Paintings, Amalia Arbel Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

1979 Paintings & Prints, Jerusalem Theater Gallery                     

          Jerusalem, Israel


Selected Solo Shows
Selected Group

2016 Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare "As They Like It,"

           4th Prebyterian Church, Chicago, IL

2016 'Voices of Wisdom,' Spertus Institute, Chicago, IL

2016 'Crossing Borders,' Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

2016 'Contextual,' Oak Park Art League, Oak Park, IL

2016 'Precious Space,' Groshek Gallery, Chicago, IL

2016 'He Said/She Said.' Groshek Gallery, Chicago, IL

2016 Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare "As They Like It,"

           Addington Gallery, Chicago, IL

2014 Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare “As They Like It,” 

           Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL

2014 Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare “As They Like It,” 

           Bowling Green State U., Bowling Green, OH

2013 Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare “As They Like It,” 

           Carthage College, Kenosha, WI

2012 Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare “As They Like It,” 

           Concordia University, River Forest, IL 

2012 ‘What It Is’ Collection,  Hinge Gallery, Chicago, IL 

            2012 Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare “As They Like                 It”, Beverly Art Center,Chicago, IL 

2011 MDW-Fair, Chicago, IL

2011 ‘Maurice Sendak,’ Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

2011 ‘Self Portrait ,’ Bridge Gallery, Chicago, IL

                2010 ‘Mark Twain,’  Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

                2010 ‘Artrageous’, Oak Park, IL

                2010  ‘Music and Brushes,’  McAuley Gallery, Aurora, IL

2010  ‘Figure This-Figure That,’ Gallery Pink, Oak Park, IL

2009  ‘Mutations’, Douglass Park, Chicago, IL

2009  Poe Show,  Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

2009 ‘T.A.W.G.A.’ Little Black Pearl, Chicago, IL

2009 ‘Lincoln,’  Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

2008 Art Expo New York,  Jacob Javitz Center, New York, NY

2007 Hemingway  in Love and War, Oak Park Public Library, Oak

            Park, IL

2006 ‘A Mind of Her Own,’ Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, IL

2006 ’Holiday Lights, Gallery Pink, Oak Park, IL

2006 ‘Landscapes’  Edward Jones, Oak Park, IL

2005 ‘Invitational,’ Oak Park Art League, Oak Park, IL

2005’Vibrations in Color,’ CCT Gallery, Chicago, IL

2003 Inaugural Exhibition, Oak Park Library, Oak Park, IL

2003 Paintings, ‘Four Men,’ Edward Jones, Oak Park,IL

2002 Remembrance Show, Oak Park Art League, Oak Park, IL

1999 Hemingway Centennial Exhibition, Oak Park Art League, Oak

                Park, IL.

1997 “Artists,” Patricia E. Lum Gallery, Oak Park, IL.

1995 “Klown,” Kozuch, Chicago, Il.

1993 "Inaugural Exhibition,” Lyons Wier Gallery, Chicago, IL.

1992 "Narrative/Figurative," Struve Gallery, Chicago, IL.

1992 "Evanston and Vicinity," Evanston Art Gallery, Evanston, IL.

            1992 "Open Spectrum," David Adler Cultural Center,

            Libertyville, IL.

1992 "Face to Face: Self Portraits by Chicago Artists,"

            Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois

1990 "The Chicago Show," Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois

1989 "Animated I," Erie Street Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1989 "Reverse Angle," Chicago/Vienna, Transcultural Exchange

1987 "Seven Artists From Israel," Galleri Hagringen, Ahus, Sweden

1987 "Mask," Klein Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1986 "Kunst Im Format," Gallerieactes Rathaus, Inzlingen, West


1986 "2 X 2," School of the Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois

1985 "Prints," Lilla Galleriet, Eslou, Sweden

1985 "20th Bradley National Exhibition," Bradley University,

            Peoria, Illinois

1985 "New Group Exhibition," Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago,


1985 "14th Annual Union League Art Competition," Artemisia,

            Chicago, Illinois

1984 "Chicago Head 1984," Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1983 "The Figure: A Continuing Tradition," Fairweather Hardin

            Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1983 "Chicago Artists Coalition Show," Wustum Museum of Fine

              Arts, Racine, Wisconsin


Commissions and Murals

2013  Bliss (Mural) Oak Park, IL

2012   The Three Mikes (Mural) Oak Park, IL

2012   Katie’s Wahl, (Mural)  Oak Park, IL

2011   Brush Ups, (Mural) Oak Park, IL

2000-2007  Hephzibah House, Oak Park, IL

2005   CSS 25th Anniversary Mural, Brookfield, IL    

1999   Life Notes   Open Door Repertory Company, Oak Park, IL

1997-99, 2005 (reinstalled) Rushhour  Oak Park, IL

1995  Childrens Museum of Oak Park , Oak Park, IL

1994-95  Irving School, 1125 Cuyler, Oak Park, IL

Public Art 

2008  Pigs,  Oak Park, IL

2007  Cool Globes, Chicago, IL

2006  Dinosaurs, Sci Tech Museum, Aurora, IL  2006 ‘Pigs on                       Parade’ Oak Park, IL

2003 ‘Faces, (Mural)  Viaduct Project, Oak Park, IL

2001  Suite Home Chicago Project



Represented in collections in both the U.S. and Europe

The Art Institute of Chicago



© 2021 by Jonathan Franklin    Call 708-415-7129