Janine Fron is a new media artist, author, educator and independent game designer. Fron is a member of the Chicago-based (art)n collective, whose works have been exhibited internationally and are in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, International Center of Photography, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art–The University of Oklahoma. Commissioned installations include the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The State of Illinois Art-in-Architecture Program, and the City of Chicago Public Art Program. Key motifs of (art)n's works fuse invisible science with art in relation to visual history, tolerance and remembrance to inspire future generations to engage in the world creatively, collaboratively and with compassion.
In 2005, Fron co-founded and contributed to the Ludica game art collective in Los Angeles with an inclusive message of “Play Belongs to Everyone” to encourage women to be part of the creative process of making games and to support alternative forms of play. She co-presented workshops and papers with the Ludica group at DAC, DiGRA, SIGGRAPH, and ISEA. Fron additonally explored alternative methods of education as they relate to cultural enrichment and play. She has instructed game design courses/lessons, game workshops, playful activities, and guest lectured at Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, St. Mary’s College, Cranbrook Schools, North Shore School District 112, LaGrange District 102, Urban Prairie Waldorf School, City Garden Waldorf School, Chicago Waldorf School, Chicago Public Schools, and the Chicago Park District.
Co-authored publications that emphasize collaboration as a creative process include the University of Illinois Press, The MIT Press, Feminist Media Studies, Games and Culture, and the University of Chicago Cultural Policy Center. Fron is a Visiting Scholar of Culture and Society at the University of Illinois. She contributed to experimental new media initiatives at Columbia College Chicago and the University of Southern California. She studied at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Tampere in Finland, and received a teaching certificate from the Chicago Waldorf School’s Arcturus Program.
As the founding artist, lead designer and researcher of Marigold Games, Fron developed two unique series of bespoke, cooperative green games that promote literacy through language arts. She has presented related papers that explore the origins of green play at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) in 2011 and 2015. In 2017, she presented Quills! A Unique Cooperative Game Series of Feathering Transformations at the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) AGM and at the JASNA-GCR's Fall Program: A Taste of the Jane Austen Society. She is a contributor to the Jane Austen Special Issue, Texas Studies in Literature and Language (2019).
Fron’s cooperative games have been played at special events that celebrate Earth Day, Poetry Month, and Jens Jensen’s 150th birthday; and have been used by K-12 and college educators, and Homeschool Co-ops. She is a JASNA-GCR member and a past volunteer for the Chicago and Highland Park Districts. She co-organized the grassroots symposium Urbs in Horto: Jens Jensen Reconsidered, cosponsored by the Chicago Park District, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, University of Illinois–Chicago, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation, in celebration of Chicago’s early Prairie School ideals and early conservation issues. She believes in the transformative nature of the arts to heal the human spirit.