Featured in "Our Town" Magazine, Beth Volpert Johansen writes: Jess in the Studio: Meet Jessica Wilson

"Finding your way when your diploma is clearly stamped 2020 might seem like more of a challenge to recent graduates than it might have been just one year ago. Clearly, with COVID-19 changing how everything is done, graduating from college could certainly be a let-down. But, for Georgia Bulldog Jessica Wilson, graduation meant freedom of expression. And, in a seemingly COVID-controlled world, freedom turned out to be just another word for “nothing left to lose.” Not unlike singer Janis Joplin who made those words famous with her signature smoky voice firmly securing her place in the history of pop-culture references, Jessica grasped pop-culture from across the decades and began to paint with abandon.

Pulling from her constantly evolving style, tempered by the hues of her ability to combine all things past, present, and future, Jessica has produced impressive results. “My Pop Art and Pop Culture series is one I started and desire to continue to run with for the

foreseeable future,” says Jessica. “I love this series so much because it brings color, humor, and boldness to the world.”

Her paintings combine well thought-out pattern and color choices that lend a special twist to portraits of celebrities from all walks of life. She has even created a playful yellow sub- marine mural and illustrated a children’s book during the long hours spent alone due to the University of Georgia’s COVID-19 guidelines.

“I believe the possibilities for this series are endless,” Jessica continues. Adding the humor of memes to her Andy Warhol and Ashley Longshore-inspired pop style gives Jessica’s art a decidedly fearless edge. “The people around me provide inspiration and humor that shows on the canvas.”

Talented from the start, Jessica had some of her first pieces placed in the High Museum of Art Student Exhibition and the Atlanta Dogwood Festival while she was still in high school. Recently, Jessica has displayed pieces from her new Pop Art and Pop Culture series in two shows in Atlanta. Her first show was at 5th Street Tapas bar in Midtown, followed by her most recent show at Monday Night Brewing Garage. She attracted a large crowd at the brewery show and sold several pieces.

In addition to her impressive portfolio and a variety of commissions over her young career, in the summer of 2020 Jessica had her first chance to paint on the largest scale. Nedza’s, a new restaurant in Athens, hired Jessica to design and paint two murals. The experience was fun and fresh and allowed the young artist to leave a bit of her heart behind for the Bulldogs to remember her by."

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