Jessica Spence is an artist whose paintings often depict topics related to her life, specifically black womanhood, and societal beauty ideals. Her current body of work focuses on the beauty and versatility of Black hair. Spence has a BA in Studio Art and recently completed her MA in Art Education at Lehman College in the Bronx. Her work has been exhibited at different galleries and venues in New York.
Her series of acrylic on canvas paintings examine societal standards of beauty as they relate to black women. She was inspired to create her current body of work on natural hair in response to the negative reactions and chastising that many black women experience in spaces such as the workplace or in schools. The series embodies the importance of self-love, self-care, and embracing one’s hair despite the pressure to adapt to societal beauty ideals. The works also show the beauty and versatility of these Black hairstyles.
Space to Connect Programming
Spence is currently leading a mixed-media mural workshop at Concourse House. Students in this after-school art workshop work with the artist to create a mixed-media “movable” mural using paint, recycled materials and more inspired by the Concourse House’s garden. All art activities will be scaffolded to develop the students’ art making skills.