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 Crowns of Empowerment 

In this body of work, I challenge you to consider a standard of beauty absent from the popular cultural imagery of a retro vintage period. She was not deterred by Her erasure, but instead was strengthened because of Her denial. Her issues were too large to be contained on these magazines, while Her tag lines were too authentic to sell them. 

This body of work is currently on exhibit at Cinema Gallery in Urbana, Illinois through March 3rd.



Wednesday, May 29, 2019
By Natalie Jackson O'Neal Photography
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I’m an Art Pop 2019 winner! Art Pop is a juried art contest where the five winners’ artworks are displayed on a billboard for an entire year! 

The billboards will travel throughout the region occasionally changing locations. This is huge!...No, really! I can’t believe how large my piece looks. ArtPop Street Gallery is a national art program out of Charlotte, NC, and they are doing such a great job advertising the artists. Arts Partners, Adams Outdoor Advertising, and Art Pop Peoria are all sponsors. 
My piece is a portrait I did of my sister. I’m very excited to be part of a program that inspires our local communities by promoting public artwork. The art scene in Peoria continues to thrive and strengthens everyone’s cultural experiences. I never imagined my artwork being viewed on such a large-scale. And I’m pleased that this particular piece “ Black Magic Woman”, will rise to such heights to speak to so many. 

Natalie Jackson O’Neal


Black Magic Woman

Thursday, January 03, 2019
By Natalie Jackson O'Neal Photography
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I want to thank each and everyone who supported me in 2018.  It was such a fantastic year! I was chosen as a juror for the 2018 Sculpture Walk of Peoria. What a great learning experience. I've been chosen again to be a juror for 2019! I won a National award in the National 64 Arts Exhibition. I won an Award of Excellence at the Peoria Art Guild Riverfront Fine Art Fair.  I was juried into two different exhibits in Chicago. And I did lots of fun shoots with many of you. I'm so excited to see what 2019 brings this year!

I will try to do a better job of keeping my website calendar up to date as well as blogging a bit more.  

Happy New Year! 

Monday, March 20, 2017
By Natalie Jackson O'Neal Photography
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I am so proud to announce that the Interactive Reception for my exhibit Crowns of Empowerment was a great success. The beautiful models mingled with the audience, the star-studded list of musicians played everything from jazz to gospel, and the artistic Crown cake was created by Aaron Warr and was to die for!  If you missed it,  it will be up through the end of May, at the Time Gallery located at 

201 Clock Tower Drive , East Peoria, Il. There will be a Closing Reception/Gallery Talk on May 20th, 9:30 am- Noon. 

There is also a book of stunning photos to accompany the exhibit. To purchase, go to my website:



This show depicts a particular type of beauty absent from the retro vintage period (1940-1980). She was not the model chosen to adorn the covers of America's popular culture magazines. These magazines touted carefree messages such as "Be Beautiful Now, The New Beauty, What Your Look Reveals About You," and asked vacuous questions like, "Do You Like Your Nose?" and "What's in Season?" Yet, Her denial and erasure did not deter Her. Instead it strengthened and empowered Her.

This exhibit illustrates the fact that Her social issues were too big to be contained on magazine covers. While many were distracted, matching pocketbook colors to hand gloves, She was busy fighting for basic human rights, inspiring taglines much too challenging and authentic to sell fashion magazines.

See Her emerge from the shadows in all her glory--front and center--as I focus on Her many different Crowns of Empowerment.


 Natalie Jackson O'Neal

Sunday, November 08, 2015
By Natalie Jackson O'Neal
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I continue to work with masks and make-up. My subjects are such great models and so far have been artist themselves.

Day of the Dead - Olivia Roach is a make-up artist. She does make-up for most of the theater work in this area and is currently working on a movie doing the make-up design. I saw her work earlier this fall in the musical, The Color Purple. She is incredibly talented. Although she is still a senior in high school, she is working in the real world workforce and doing what she loves!  

 Steampunk Sister -  Alice Traore is a painter, graphic artist, jewelry designer, and an extremely talented writer.  She also does some modeling in Madison, Wisconsin, where she lives, which makes it so easy to photograph her.  Her thought-provoking writing has been published and her many talents are currently utilized at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She's also my best friend.

Masked - Gabrielle Elizabeeth Marie-Test draws and paints and is also a wonderful model. She has modeled for me on several occasions and is the model in a couple of pieces I've won awards for. She modeled for "Masked" which is currently in the ME Exhibition at Studios on Sheridan. It depicts the many masks we must wear to meet the challenges and demands of life. I really enjoy working with her because she's truly professional.