A Heart Full of Art
“When everything else pushes me down, art pulls me right up.”
Jessica has been participating in the Arts Access program for well over a decade. In that time, she has created a vibrant collection of work, including both digital and acrylic painting, poetry, prose, drama, and choreography. Inspired by her passion for the arts and her family, Jessica’s work reflects back her exuberant and engaging personality.
Jessica is greatly dedicated to her artistic visions and frequently arrives at the studio already knowing what she wants to create. She does, however, keep herself open to the possibility of discovering more details for a piece as she works on it. “I could do my artwork as freely as a bird,” Jessica explains, “because it’s my artwork, no one else’s.” Jessica is willing to experiment with her art, and has on several occasions combined different mediums to create exciting multidisciplinary works of art. For example, she’s included poetry in her choreography, and even performed a dance on a painting.
Full of vibrant and bold colors, Jessica’s paintings often reflect how she was feeling when she was working on them. “In my paintings,” Jessica says, “I want to show people how I feel in different ways.” Sometimes that means utilizing flowers and hearts, or geometric shapes and intricate patterns of dots and lines. Jessica also describes her paintings as stories and can expound on the details, such as how one painting is about her first love, while another is about seeing the flowers bloom.
Jessica is a prolific writer who uses imagery that reflects her imagination, involvement in the arts, and her love of life and friends. The subject and themes of Jessica’s work range from light-hearted and whimsical to introspective and sometimes gut-wrenching. She writes from her heart, and pours her soul into her words. Jessica’s poems and prose reveal the depth of her feelings and reflect her unique view of the world around her. “Before I started writing, I didn’t know what to do with some of my emotions,” Jessica explains. “Writing makes me feel free and good and it’s good for my soul.” Jessica’s writing has been featured in Writes of Passage, an anthology of work from the Arts Access writers, and has her own solo publication, In My Heart Like a Key. Currently, she is working on a second solo book.
The performing arts are another venue for Jessica’s artistic expression. She’s created moving and exciting choreography and dramatic works. As with her other artistic endeavors, Jessica imbues her performance work with love, joy, compassion, and empowerment in dramatic and imaginative ways. One of Jessica’s most iconic choreographies features massive aliens and a crowd of doctors dancing wild around Jessica while heavy metal thumps overhead. You can see a recording of this dance and others on the Arts Access Vimeo page. Recently, at Full Circle 2018, Jessica presented her dance If Tomorrow Never Comes, a touching tribute to a friend who passed away.
Jessica, her passionate work, and radiant smile have recently appeared in a couple articles and interviews. In the Summer/Fall 2018 issue of Matheny Matters, she is featured in the article about Arts Access’ 25th Anniversary. And this past spring, Jessica was interviewed by NJTV News for a story they did about the program. In the video, you can see a glimpse into her process as she works in the studio with a facilitator. You can also see Jessica in the new A Glimpse into Full Circle video.
Jessica’s work has been presented and performed at many venues, including the Paper Mill Playhouse, Grounds for Sculpture, Johnson & Johnson, and Rutgers. She’s been featured in Plays by People, which is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s annual Stages Festival, and Full Circle, Arts Access’ signature biennial event. Jessica is also participating in the Arts Access drama program’s new initiative to have more opportunities for our artists to see live theatre productions.
We love having Jessica and her sparkling imagination as a part of our program. We are proud to see what she has accomplished and look forward to seeing where else her artistic journey takes her. To stay up to date with what Jessica and all of our other artists are achieving, be sure to join our email list and follow us on social media.