Apr 7, 2021, 6:30PM–7:30PM

In Conversation: Jessica Vaughn & Meg Onli

Jessica Vaughn (left), photo by Lachell Workman. Meg Onli (right), photo by Marcus Maddox.

Our Primary Focus Is To Be Successful is a collection of work by visual artist Jessica Vaughn. The exhibition is grounded in the political and social relations that make up workspaces, particularly labor policies such as affirmative action, legislation that was implemented in the 1960s to integrate the government workforce; minimalism, an art movement that prioritized industrial materials; and how the evolution of the office cubicle revolutionized the way we work. These three seemingly disparate concepts have been historicized as separate entities, yet in fact they are intertwined. It is within this overlap where Vaughn’s interests reside, as discussed with Meg Onli – Andrea B. Laporte Associate Curator – followed by a Q&A with the audience.


This program was free and open to the public, and conducted virtually via Zoom. To register, click here.

Live captioning was provided for this program by Caption Access.


Jessica Vaughn’s practice is directed by relationships and experiences in and outside of the studio, and considers how materials accumulate and inhabit spaces. With a studio process that is rooted in research, Vaughn’s multidisciplinary approach encompasses working with discarded and mass-produced materials to create artworks and installations that convey complex histories of place, production, and use. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania (2011) and a Bachelor of Humanities & Arts from Carnegie Mellon University (2006). Her work has been exhibited at MOMA PS1, Studio Museum in Harlem, Project Row Houses, and in galleries in the United States and abroad.


Support for Jessica Vaughn: Our Primary Focus Is To Be Successful has been provided by the Inchworm Fund. The Inchworm Fund is an endowment created to respond to ICA’s spirit of exploration, supporting artists and curators in their quest to uncover the unknown through multiyear research, exhibition, publication, and conversation. In naming the fund, visionary Philadelphia patron Daniel W. Dietrich, II wished to attract fellow contributors, encouraging ICA to reach and expand toward new possibilities.

This project is supported in part by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Martos Gallery, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Danielle Mandelbaum Anderman, Dorothy & Martin Bandier, Julie & Lawrence Bernstein, Cheri & Steven Friedman, Kirk Kirkpatrick, Josephine Magliocco, Patricia & Howard Silverstein, and Meredith & Bryan Verona.