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Meet Jeanette Andrews – Sensory illusionist, artist & magician

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeanette Andrews.

Jeanette, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a sensory illusionist, magician, and artist. I did my first magic performance for my preschool class, after having seen Siegfried and Roy TV special, got paid for the first time to do a show when I was six years old for a local park district, and have never looked back! I am very lucky to say this is the only job I’ve ever had, and I am so grateful for the experiences that I’ve had. My childhood was spent in theatrical magic, learning the intricacies of the craft.

In my teens, a mentor (Arthur Trace) shared the idea that magic could be used to articulate other concepts and I now consider magic my artistic medium. Combining influences not typically seen in magic performances (performative art, immersive theater, scent art, and installation) I have worked to put a new spin on this ancient art-form, using sensory anomalies and scientific oddities to underlie pieces of interactive illusion. Audience members collaborate in my pieces, performing illusions in their own hands.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have been incredibly fortunate and my career to have worked with many wonderful mentors who have been incredibly generous with their time and expertise. I feel that one of the main challenges is educating people about the nature of my work.

As my performances don’t fit into the typical stereotype that many people associate with magic, it is always interesting to talk with people about this, as well as the many complex factors that go into creating a piece of magic/illusion. I find that truly fascinating.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with your work – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that I have had thus far to present my work for museums and cultural institutions. Within the last year I have presented performances for International Museum of Surgical Science, Birmingham Museum of Art, and Chicago Ideas Week. I also recently completed my third series of performances for Museum of Contemporary Art, presenting “Invisible Roses,” commissioned by the museum in honor of their 50th anniversary. It was the greatest honor of my life.

I am also delighted to be the only magician known to be awarded an artist’s residency, including being a High Concept Labs Sponsored Artist and artist in residence for The Institute for Art and Olfaction.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My practice is influenced by parlor magic of the mid-1800’s, which presented magic in formal settings with classically beautiful aesthetics. Historically, magically held a position in a cultural
hierarchy similar to ballet and opera. My vision is to take the art of illusion back to this position by bringing it into the arts sector and presenting contemplative works. My work seeks to reshape the aesthetic and narrative surrounding magic performances, giving unique structures to magic and exposing it to new audiences via the arts.

It is the goal of a magician to highlight the amazing aspects of the world by creating impossible moments. I strive to create work provoking thought on the senses. I have been researching the marriage of scent and magic/illusions. This is a virtually unexplored area, and I have been passionate about inventing scent-based pieces of magic. I seek to shift stereotypes of magic, democratizing performances and presenting them on a smaller scale, allowing each viewer’s experience to be unique.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @JeanetteAndrewsMagic
  • Facebook: @SensoryIllusions

Image Credit:

Saverio Truglia or @hellosaverio (Instagram)

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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