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Jessica McGhee  

Fine Artist

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Bio

 

Jessica McGhee (she/her/they) is a transplant New Yorker originally from Los Angeles, California. Jessica is a mother of two sons, a sister, a daughter, and an aunt. Jessica identifies herself as an imperfect and ever-evolving being, as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and is Italian African American; specifically Sicilian, and Nigerian of the African American diaspora.

 

Jessica began her journey into Fine Arts at Otis College of Art and Design before moving to Syracuse, NY and transferring to Syracuse University. Jessica completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Syracuse University; and is currently a student working towards her Master of Science in Creative Arts Therapy in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, Class of 2024.

 

Jessica’s work explores notions of beauty and the human condition, nature, and conceptions of the highest self via the meditative lens; her work also explores trauma, its impacts on the human condition and its myriad expressions through our existence. After graduation, Jessica plans on launching a nonprofit (SOAR) which focuses on providing sliding scale, retreat-focused, fully accessible, healing arts services for all survivors of trauma.

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Branches: An Overview

My identity as an artist has always been very contrasted in recognizing the suffering and the simultaneous innate beauty of the people we all walk with throughout our lives. In bearing witness to the trespasses and complex intricacies of human nature, in relation to nature and our natural first home, and the beauty that surrounds our bodies and ephemeral existence-- we can take a step back and witness ourselves in our natural state.

This video symbolizes the innate beauty of our existence and what it is we do to one another and our home. Through art therapy, we use to use symbols and metaphors to understand situations from a different point of view, through our nonverbal experiences and understandings, to reach cathexis. 

 

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Student Art Therapist:

My Journey

 

I am a current graduate student in Syracuse University's Creative Arts Therapy M.S. program. I am entering my 3rd semester of internship at with a local placement in a hospital system in the greater Syracuse area. I have also interned at a local cultural center serving youth and their families in an open access art therapy program of my design. I am also writing a book aimed for using art therapy in Substance Use Disorder inpatient settings focusing on managing trauma response, PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms.

 

My work primarily lies within the community addressing intergenerational trauma and domestic violence via psychoeducation, in community centers and clinical facilities seeking to uplift youth and adults impacted by trauma.

 

I seek to strengthen our community via community engaged art and open access art therapy and help in bringing equity to our marginalized populations and intergenerational healing to our souls. I do this through teaching emotional literacy-based art classes, and incorporating emotional literacy, existentialist exploration, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tools, Strengths-Based Therapy, and Self-Care as Community-Care throughout my therapeutic practice.  

 

I also strongly support our community’s need for public access art therapy to address systemic abuse and neglect, marginalization of under-resourced communities, domestic violence and substance use disorders (symptoms of poverty), collective trauma, and PTSD/ C-PTSD. SOAR will be my culminating gift to our community, providing a wide variety of healing arts in a retreat-style setting offered on a sliding scale so that we all may have the same access to these tools for healing and well-being, regardless of income status, for our united ascent.

 

 

When working with people either as an art educator or as a student an art therapist, my first aim is always to highlight the innate and unique beauty of each person I connect with. I am an ever evolving being, continually sifting in new data and intricacies. Seeking to see. I search for strengths and to draw connections which are the manifestations of our own minds and our whole selves, our connection.

 

I also seek to highlight notions of the human condition and the circumstances of life and living, the only constant is change (Anicca); we can’t expect to be happy/ contented all of the time. There is no light without darkness, no true knowledge of joy without suffering. We must expect discomfort and pain along with the good and uplifting, and in that know that both negative and positive will pass. This is the nature of life. 

 

Anicca- S. N. Goenka

 

 

I encourage observation of the self "as it is" and in using that as a tool for insight, growth, and aid in reframing our perceptions, so we so we may better sense what lies deeper within and live our lives via our own authentic self. …Minus shame, stigma, negative self-talk, and narrowed self-worth. I seek to empower one another with tools of self-awareness through self-observation, radical self-care, psychoeducation, emotional literacy, and attuned embodiment. We are all ever evolving beings. I welcome you to share this space.

 

Metta,

        Jessica

 

Fine Artist:

Artist Statement

Jessica McGhee is a conceptual, surrealist landscape painter. She most often creates her Fine Art using mixed medias on found plywood that would have otherwise ended up rotting on the side of the road and filling the soil with man-made resins. She finds that creating immense beauty and purpose out of potentially harmful waste contributes to the appreciation and sustainability of our earth and existence.

 

Jessica is a firm believer that art and nature are essential factors for open exploration, inner growth, resilience, and well-being. Much of how people learn is through cause and effect, making mistakes, forming preferences, and realizing the things they never could have ideated were it not for those mistake, thus creating a new journey of exploration, leading to self-actualization.  Consider how many times people faceplant as toddlers, or the dedication required when learning how to drive.

 

Consistent exposure to art and nature create an open canvas for expounding self-expression. Art and nature intermingle with the ephemeral, the tangible and intangible, contrasting positives and negatives of life, and our notions of connection to one another within the world that surrounds our physical existences.

 

Observations of nature and a steady art practice allow us to explore and examine the many experiences presented to us for contemplation. The cause and effect of attending to nature and creative expression create a curiosity for the world around oneself; instilling a continuous desire to explore life’s many terrains and bear witness the many beauties existence has to offer. Exposure to nature and art aids in deciphering one’s own preferences, determining personal values, and navigating the path toward self-actualization. This exposure causes stronger resiliency, the diving board which we bound off of, and launch into life from. It’s all relative.

 

Jessica is also currently launching a nonprofit, SOAR, which plans to provide those suffering with PTSD and C-PTSD with sliding scale access to alternative therapies such as yoga, mindfulness meditation and art therapies in a retreat-style setting. Because we all need a retreat sometimes, but so many cannot access such beneficial practices due to financial barriers.

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Art Educator:
Teaching Philosophies

    I thoroughly believe the instruction of art for all people should be steeped in process and exploration. Through process and exploration the ever-changing mind is offered new challenges to confront, over come, maneuver, and learn from. Art offers an immediate cause-and-effect scenario, which can be learned from, whether the results are desired or not. Art offers its students synthesis of the ephemeral and the fundamental. 

   The process of working with various art materials opens the mind toward its own questions of how to create. Through this process comes knowledge and understanding of the boundaries within each of the materials at hand. Practiced long term, this can nurture self-understanding through the continual exploration. Which can then be directly translated to life- questions about what might happen if...? Ideations and preferences will be refined, self-confidence can be built. There is no wrong way of making art, there is only exploration.

   

Jessica's Personal Influences:

My children and my late father, my sister and best friend Shannon Lima, Chantal Barlow, The Dhammapada, Vipassana, Patanjali, Kundalini, Elise Von Holten, Kahty Chenoweth, Dr. James Haywood Rolling, Jr., Dr. Rochelle Royster, Dr. Emily Nolan, Nedra Glover Tawwab, Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Bell Hooks, Brené Brown, Marc Brackett PhD, Sian Beilock, Peter Levine, James Baldwin, Robert Wright, Adrian Piper, Bill Viola, Saul Williams, Nina Simone,  Kahlil Gibran, Malcolm Gladwell, Dali, Picasso, Degas, Figurative Modeling, Joseph M. W. Turner, Psychology, Buddhism under the lens of Psychology, Philosophy and its dissections, the sky, the soil, water, the sun and the winds on my skin, Preserved Wild Habitats, National State and Parks, Anicca, Giving Back, Historic Architecture, NPR, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, the spelling out of Consent movements in the college and university systems Women's March on Washington, Black Lives Matter March on Washington, Dead Can Dance, Luciano Pavorotti, Jill Scott, Estas Tonne, Hanna Jahanforooz, Tropical Bird Club, Trape La Verite, Backseat Freestyle, Matteo Myderwyk, Erykah Badu, Anoushka Shankar, Porgy & Bess, Elisapie, Meditative Mind, my children again, flowers, tall grasses, and all of the beautiful beings I observe during my walks through life. Thank you.

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Looking for an Accessories Shop?

 

Apparel, accessories, and home goods with Jessica's work can be found on VIDA. Every  purchase made through VIDA helps give the gift of education. Please contact Jessica for further details on how to purchase an original work, commission an original work, or purchase a print. 

Thank you for visiting!!

Metta...

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Some of works depicted in the gallery belong to Private Collectors and others are available for purchase. Prints are available for purchase. Please email jessica@divinewanderings.com for any purchase related inquiries.

All art and written statements showcased within www.DivineWanderings.com

is copyright protected, being the Intellectual Property of and created solely by Jessica McGhee.

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