Interested in art since she was a young girl, Joan Ruth Truckenbrod grew up around the Art Institute of Chicago, where she would often frequent to find a center for grounding. Finding much peace, tranquility and creativity in the arts, she often visited the Art Institute during her undergraduate studies, where she studied sociology at Beloit College. Receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1967, she then went on to receive a Master of Arts from Northern Illinois University in 1973. During this time, Ms. Truckenbrod spent one year working in the field of mental health; however, she found that the field was not the right fit, and thus decided to return to her artistic roots. In 1979, she received a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
At the inception of her career in 1973, after obtaining her first master’s degree, Ms. Truckenbrod served as an assistant professor at Northern Illinois University until 1981. Subsequently, she joined the faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was a professor in the Department of Art and Technology until attaining emeritus status in 2008. During her tenure, she taught students the intricacies of digital media and design work, which she has also implemented in her own artistic ventures. Notably, Ms. Truckenbrod established her own nonprofit professional gallery, titled the Truckenbrod Gallery, in Corvallis, Oregon. Her artwork has been acquired for the Digital Art Collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Textile Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Illinois State Museum and the Block Museum of Art. Furthermore, her artwork has been collected by private individuals and other museums across the world.
In conjunction with her primary vocation, Ms. Truckenbrod has exhibited her work in one-person shows in Chicago, as well as in Berlin and Wiesbaden, Germany; London, England; and Paris, France. She has also been featured in various group shows throughout her career and participated in conferences for the International Society for Electrical Arts in Helsinki, Finland, and as a juror for the la Cité des Arts et des Nouvelles Technologies in Montreal, Canada. She also contributed her efforts to the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.
Demonstrating versatility in her profession, Ms. Truckenbrod has authored several books, including “The Paradoxical Object: Video Film Sculpture” in 2012 and “New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts” in 2018. She has maintained membership with the International Society for Art, Science and Technology, the Society for Photographic Educators, the College Art Association and the Textile Society of America. As a testament to her success, she was named a fellow of the American Scandinavian Foundation in Denmark in 1994, was a project grantee of the Illinois Arts Council in 1994, and received a Fulbright Fellowship and Research Scholar Award in 1998.