In a world of uncertainty local artist Jessica McCormick finds comfort in her precise art

30 Oct 2020, Posted by Robin McGowan in ART Matters, News, Press Releases

Jessica McCormick, a Morean Arts Center member artist who enjoyed origami as a child, is channeling her love for balance and control in her newest body of work. One piece, titled ‘Deco Gone Mod’ earned her the Tim Salen Memorial Award for Work in Any Medium in the Morean Arts Center Annual Members show. Tim would appreciate how Jessica uses art to navigate challenging times. Tim was an original member of the St. Petersburg Clay Company, now the Morean Center for Clay. By trade he was a pipe fitter. He loved photography as well as clay. Those who knew him described him as “the nicest person you would ever want to meet.” After being diagnosed with cancer, Tim worked very hard and put together a stellar show. He was very happy and when he passed shortly after his friends established this award in his memory.

Through the COVID Challenge of an interview by telephone, Jessica seems to the listener to also be ‘one of the nicest people you might ever want to know.’ She confesses that with all of the challenges we are facing as a society these days, she found her attention was shifting away from creative pursuits. The call for entries that measured 20” x 20” for the members show appealed to her desire to create balance. She has been on a creative exploration of 5” x 7” image prompts that are commissioned when the collector shares their two favorite colors to be incorporated into Jessica’s art. Asked about the name of her award-winning piece, Jessica explains that it is a nod to fashion, design and architecture. “I love art deco and it is cyclical, all things creative, all of it.”

Working from the small ‘hidey-hole’ space that serves as a studio in her house and supported by her cats Freya and Sven, who curiously watch over her meticulous work, Jessica describes the process as, “very meditative for me.” The format appeals to her desire to control and the box reflects how she has been feeling boxed-in. “The one thing I control in my life is what I put down on canvas. We have all been pinned in. This is how I try to process anything and everything,” shared Jessica.

Jessica studied art history and the humanities while earning her degree in Communications at Stetson University in DeLand. Expressing her self with art has been a life long practice. She recalls finding total delight in folding papers in half as a child. While she does a lot of work in acrylics she has also done precise mixed-media art in three dimensions. She started painting with gusto three or four years ago. She exhausted all of the options she could imagine with straight lines and tape, playing with texture and color gradients, always within what she calls “the rigid box.” Jessica has torn up water color paper, dyed it with paint and then applied it to the canvas. “The water color paper comes out at you from the canvas,” she said. “The heart of the meticulous work I am doing now with the guidance of a t-square comes from the same place. I love to push the boundaries of the dynamism and layering of colors and textures.”
After calling her two cats the lights of her life, Jessica chuckles and shares. “I need to give real credit to my husband Micheil. That is M-i-c-h-e-i-l the Gaelic spelling,” she patiently explains. “His point of view is important. He pushes me to make sure that I continue to grow.” Jessica’s growth includes participating in several Morean Shows. While Tampa is home to Jessica, her husband and two cats, she is committed to her Morean membership and traveling across the Bay to St. Pete. “I’m so glad I joined the Morean, the sense of community and the support from all of the artist members, is amazing.”

Jessica’s work is in the private collection of Armature Works in Tampa, and she has exhibited in group shows that include: 20×20: 2020 Members Show, Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Heights Unites Music & Arts Festival, Brew Bus, Seminole Heights, the 2019 Book and Paper Arts Exhibition, Indiana University Kokomo Downtown Gallery,
Tampa Bay Lightning Eighth Annual Celebration of the Arts, Amalie Arena, Tampa, This Is Me: 2019 Members Show
Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Pride Pop-Up, Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, OPUS 2019, Tampa Covenant Church, Tampa, and the 2018 Tampa Bay Lightning Seventh Annual Celebration of the Arts
Amalie Arena, Tampa, One Hundred: 2018 Members Show, Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, OPUS 2018, Tampa Covenant Church, Tampa and a Solo Exhibition titled Line | Focus | Balance: A Solo Show at the Rialto Theatre, Tampa

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