"My style is highly intuitive, drawing inspiration from a variety of subject matter. Most often, I gravitate toward capturing the essence of the human form in a loose, expressive manner, using color and texture as my primary focus. Combining monotype printmaking with painting and pastels is my favorite vehicle for creating these images . I utilize monotypes, lithographs or other prints as a textural base, then create subsequent layers in other media until I've achieved the desired result. My goal is not to render my subject exactly as it appears, but rather to interpret the spirit of the form and my internal perceptions related to it."
Jessica E. Barber is a Philadelphia-based mixed media artist and printmaker originally from South Central Pennsylvania. Her intuitive approach to the creative process includes the use of monotype and lithograph printmaking, pastels, and mixed media painting. Most recently, she has expanded her studio practice to include cyanotype photography.
For the last four years, Barber has had a heightened interest in the natural world, fueled by hiking throughout the Mid-Atlantic, South Florida, and American West. This interest was further enhanced through volunteering and work-related activities spent at local preserves, presenting her with more opportunities to gain awareness of the natural history and preservation of these diversified ecosystems. The exposure to and enjoyment of the pristine beauty of open space and its inherent contrast to gritty, ephemerally abandoned areas being reclaimed by the elements has fueled her natural selection of works.
A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she is currently a resident of Marcus Hook, PA. She is a co-founder of Art on Avenue of the States Gallery in Chester, PA and is also represented by Twenty-Two Gallery in Philadelphia. In addition to solo and group exhibitions in Greater Philadelphia, her work has been shown in New York, NY, and Miami, FL. More information can be found at jessicabarberfineart.com.
Comments on June 2013 Exhibition,
"Vestige: An Industrial Perspective"
"Jessica Barbers, Vestige: An Industrial Perspective at Twenty-Two Gallery in Center City West includes a marvelous variety of mono-prints, lithographs and mixed media paintings all based on the wasting industrial infrastructure of Chester PA"
DoN Brewer, DoN Art News
Comments on June 2011 exhibition,
"The Industrial Complex: A Visual Interpretation":
"Jessica Barber's painting/printmaking solo "The Industrial Complex" at Gallery 22 portrays Marcus Hook, where she lives, as having been a center of progress and industry during two world wars. Now she humanizes its refineries and the gaunt ironwork rigging silhouetted against the sky, turning to old-master naturalism in a rugged barroom scene."
----Victoria Donohoe, for The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Investigating the super structure of her surroundings, Jessica Barber has discovered a hidden beauty in the ugly encroachment of the industrial complex we live in. The harsh angles and abrupt interruptions in the landscape are the leaping off points for Barbers intense paintings and prints. There is no secret that her endeavor for this show was about industriousness whether in her complex lithographs, an artistic technology unto itself, thickly painted industrial landscapes or thoughtful, contemplative figures, the effect is serious yet hopeful insight. Seeing the beauty in the ugly is something we have to live with anyway, Jessica sees the blight and decides to make something beautiful, deep and lasting for us, capturing the moment when the sun hits the bridge at just the right angle or the soft glow of oily asphalt at sunset. There may be no right answer to the ugliness but Jessica is willing to look hard and see the wonderful patterns, colors and textures inflicted on the industrial landscape and offer answers in the form of art."
---DoN Brewer, art blogger for DoN Art News
"When Jessica Barber paints, she tends to stick to her guns, using pastels to render her impressions of the human form. But she seems to have taken a leave of absence from capturing the essence of the body for her latest show, setting her sights instead on the interactions between humans and industrialized landscapes in her Delaware County hometown. Her renditions of local environments, "The Industrial Complex: A Visual Interpretation," ponder whether it's feasible to perceive the fusion of pipes and pines as a thing of beauty."
---Khoury Johnson, Philadelphia City Paper