Biography

Cecilia Leonora Vargas is a Chicago-based contemporary art curator and writer. Currently, she is the Art Coordinator at Waubonsee Community College, where she works with the exhibitions, visiting artist and collections programs. Vargas received a dual M.A. in Art History, Theory and Criticism, as well as in Arts Administration and Policy from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC); and a B.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been a Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Cultural Affairs Studio and Curatorial Residency, 2016 – 2017 and a Curatorial Fellow with ACRE Projects, 2014 – 2015.


Vargas has organized solo exhibitions featuring Jesse Howard, Trisha Holt, Alberto Aguilar, Meghan Moe Beitiks, Nancy Lu Rosenheim, Paula Henderson, Brent Fogt, Lisa Lindvay, Edra Soto, Mahwish Chishty, Carla Fisher Schwartz, Krista Wortendyke, James Jankowiak, Paul Nudd, Marissa Lee Benedict, Ross Sawyers, Nnenna Okore, George Blaha, Allison Grant, Joe Madrigal, Erik L. Peterson, Diana Gabriel, Claire Ashley, Sam Jaffe, and the collaborative Sarah Belknap and Joseph Belknap among others. Her group exhibitions include Triptych Unloose, Remote Connection, Not There But Everywhere, Golden Rule, Naturally Curious, Zoom Out: Reflecting on the Digital Environment, and Cultural Evolution? Migration, Hybridity, & Multiculturalism. She has authored and edited six exhibition catalog essays. Vargas’ essays have been published by Aurora Public Art Commission, Aurora, Illinois; the Chicago Cultural Center, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Chicago; Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin; Garcia Squared Contemporary, Kansas City, Missouri; Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, Illinois; and What It Is, Oak Park, Illinois.