Jessica Jacobsen

I grew up in the New York City projects. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been drawn to the arts which served as a distraction from my challenging life circumstances. My curiosity spanned from sewing, to cooking to dancing. As a young adult, I found myself in the jungles of Costa Rica. It was there, under the canopy of trees, with wildness all around, that I made a commitment to learn how to draw. During that exploration, I developed a personal style that I still call upon today. After many twists and turns, I studied painting at Sonoma State, where my skills became more finely tuned. I was chosen to show my painting, El Cubano, at SSU's end of the year, juried art show. The same painting won Best in Class at the National Arts Program in Santa Rosa in 2016. I also won Best in Show the following year at the National Arts Program for my drawing, Wisdom and Roots and through that was invited to do a solo exhibition for The City of Santa Rosa.


Becoming a mother to my beautiful son grounded me in time and place so that I can do a collection of work. My figures, almost exclusively women, hang in space in a fantastical world that I tend to spend a lot of time imagining myself in. As a child, I visited that world often and it’s always given me solace. Today, I’ve come full circle and work in variety of mediums, all of which satisfy my incessant need to create. Being stuck at home during the pandemic, I embarked on yet another pursuit. I started designing leather and fringed beaded earrings that feel like a calling from my ancestors. My earrings, drawings, and work in general very much reflect my inner process as a person, but primarily as a woman of color. It took me a long time to feel comfortable sharing myself with others and I appreciate the encouragement I’ve received from friends and family who believe in me. It’s heartening to see people enjoy and relate to what I create as this is my hope and intention.


Jessica Jacobsen

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