(Oaxaca, 2008-2010; London, 2010-present)
Jessica grew up in a home filled with vibrant folk art from all over the world, given her mother’s work as a folklorist and her father’s travels as a public health doctor. Her father had a passionate love for Oaxacan folk art, especially the tapete weavings of Isaac Vásquez of Teotitlán del Valle. Jessica grew up with a deep appreciation and sense of Oaxacan folk art, even before traveling there. She arrived in Oaxaca in August 2008 and, despite her intention to stay for just two months, she remained in Oaxaca – with its rich, inspiring culture and people – for nearly two years. Jessica attributes much of this to her amazing experiences she had working with FOFA. After reading a newspaper article about FOFA’s first art competition, she contacted Arden Rothstein to explore how she could become involved. Jessica contributed in many ways: promoting events for both FOFA and MEAPO by distributing FOFA information throughout the city, contributing to the website, creating and helping to maintain FOFA’s Facebook “Fan Page” to update members about new events and information, and generally spreading the word about FOFA. Jessica has made a special contribution with her professional interest in photography, photographing both artist events and individual artists’ work. She considers this work a genuine gift, as it has allowed her to meet so many talented and inspiring artists and to see the amazing range and variety of their work in various pueblos throughout Oaxaca.
Jessica is also a TESOL certified English teacher who earned her B.A. in English from Kenyon College in 2005. She is a former teacher of children’s art, having taught in the USA for two years and one year in Oaxaca at the “Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots” center. Jessica cherishes the time she spent at the center devoted to providing education and resources to the children of Oaxaca’s poorest communities. Jessica is also a published photographer who finds constant inspiration each and every day in Oaxaca.