Originally from Rosemount, Minnesota, during high school Jessica won numerous art competition awards locally, regionally, and nationally. While earning a B.A. in American Studies at the University of Minnesota, she exhausted the drawing program and completed a large body of work. Jessica moved to Coeur d'Alene in 2000 and has lived downtown since 2001 with the exception of two years spent in Palo Alto, CA. It was during her time in Palo Alto that she developed a love for painting. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys playing bagpipes and teaching and leading a local pipe band as well as teaching fine art to ambitious youth at a local school.
Recent awards include publication in the North Light Books series Splash 17: Inspiring Subjects (release date: July 2016), selection as a finalist in the Artists Magazine's 2014 Annual Art Competition, and selection into the 146th Annual International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society. For the latter, Jessica's work was displayed in the historic Salmagundi Art Club in New York, NY. In 2016 Jessica's work was included in two national exhibits, the Flora of the National Parks exhibit at the United States Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC and in Google Cultural Institute's "One Object" project celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service.
Passionate about nature, wilderness, and our national parks, Jessica has served seven terms as an Artist-in-Residence for the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Four of these were at Badlands National Park for a total of twenty five weeks, culminating in a solo exhibition at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, SD. She has also been Artist-in-Residence at Rocky Mountain National Park and the Western Arctic National Parklands, a grouping of three remote NPS units located north of the Arctic Circle and void of any roads. Jessica journeyed into the back country by float- and bush-plane to explore on foot. She has also served two terms as AiR for Sorensen Magnet School in Coeur d'Alene, ID.
Wilderness interests are a theme through her life and work. Jessica is a current board member of the Tubbs Hill Foundation, an organization charged with the responsibility of protecting Tubbs Hill, a 120-acre park nestled between downtown and Lake Coeur d'Alene. In addition to completing a plethora of paintings depicting this gem, she has worked to engage local youth in the interests of the Foundation though guided drawing classes and the creation of an educational activity booklet, the Junior Friends of Tubbs Hill Activity Guide. A small patch of nature existing in an urban setting, this park provides an excellent opportunity to promote stewardship of wilderness. Jessica is frequently found in the less traveled areas of our National Parks and other wilderness areas. Most of her work centers on her attraction to the natural world that exists apart from human activity.
Jessica paints and teaches workshops and classes out of Redbrick Art Studio in downtown Coeur d'Alene, ID. She is also the director of the Fine Arts League at Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities.