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Jessica McGhee  

Fine Artist

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Photo Credit: Azra Gradincic

Student Art Therapist:

Creative Identity as a Budding Art Therapist

My identity as an artist has always been very contrasted in recognizing the suffering and the simultaneous beauty of people. 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.

 

My work primarily lies within the community and Community Engaged art and art therapy to help bring equity to our marginalized populations. I do this through teaching emotional literacy-based art classes, and incorporating emotional literacy, existentialism, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Strengths-Based Therapy, and Self-Care as Community-Care into my budding 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 (often a symptom of poverty), collective trauma, and PTSD.

 

 

When working with people either as an art educator or as a student 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) and we can’t expect to be happy/ contented all of the time; we must expect discomfort and pain along with the good and uplifting and 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 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 the 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 resins. She finds that creating immense beauty and purpose out of potential harmful waste contributes to the appreciation and sustainability of our earth and existence.

 

Jessica is a current student in Syracuse University's Creative Arts therapy, M.S. program with a graduation date of May 2024.

Jessica is a City of Angels native, and began her journey into Fine Arts at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She double-majored in Painting and the Sculpture/ New Genres program with an interest in Performance Art. After moving to Syracuse, Jessica resumed her studies at Syracuse University.

 

Jessica is a Fine Artist and a Dean’s List alum of Syracuse University, majoring in Studio Arts with a primary focus in painting, and secondary focuses in community engagement and entrepreneurship. Jessica is a currents student of the Creative Arts Therapy, M. S. program in The School of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, Class of 2024. 

 

Jessica is a firm believer that art and nature are essential factors for open exploration, inner growth and resilience. Much of how people learn is through cause and effect, making mistakes, then realizing the things they never could have seen were it not for that mistake, thus creating a new journey of exploration. 

 

Consistent exposure to art and nature create 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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Photo Credit: Jason Borsching

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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 children (and adults) 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 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 can be refined, self-confidence can be built. There is no wrong way of making art, there is only exploration.

   

Influences:

My children, Elise Von Holten, Kahty Chenoweth, Dr. James Haywood Rolling, Jr., Robert Wright (The Moral Animal, +) Adrian Piper for her social tinkering performances, Bill Viola's I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like, Saul Williams, Nina Simone, Marc Chagall, Odilon Redon, Edvard Munch, Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, Malcolm Gladwell, Dali's everything, Picasso's Guernica, Edgar Degas' dancer paintings, Figurative Modeling, Joseph M. W. Turner, Psychology and Cognitive 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, A Dhammapada for Contemplation, Vipassana, Anicca, Kundalini, 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 (August 2020!!) varied World Music, my children again, flowers, tall grasses, and all of the beautiful beings I observe during my walks through life. 

 

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Thank you for visiting!!

Metta...

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

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

 

Some of works depicted in the gallery belong to Private Collectors and other are available for purchase. Prints are available for purchase. Please email jessica@divinewanderings.com for any purchase related inquiries. In addition to products available through the Divine Wanderings shop, apparel, accessories and home goods with Jessica's work can also be found via 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. 

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