C3 Questions Profile - Jessica L. Sims
I am an abstract painter and President of the non-profit art gallery, artspace, in Richmond's Manchester District. I received by BFA from VCU in Painting in 2002 and my MFA from UNC-Greensboro in 2005 in Studio Art, returning to Richmond after graduation. I am an Office Manager by day for a local business; my time outside of that occupation is used creating work and volunteering for artspace gallery. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and listening to progressive rock (sometimes simultaneously).
How do you create?
My paintings are celebratory remembrances of item and images from youth. I start with a subject matter (a favorite childhood film, song, toy) and create a series of images based on the pallet of that subject matter. I have a specific series of shapes, gestures and controlled pours that make up the imagery of my works. They are non-representational, so the connection to the original subject matter is only revealed in pallet choice and the titles of the works. I work on reinforced panel and use acrylic and acrylic mediums to build the thickness of the paint. I both pour and paint directly onto the surface. I create work in large batches so I am able to work on multiple paintings simultaneously.
How do you connect?
I connect through my time and efforts at artspace. I interact with fellow artists and art appreciators at every volunteering opportunity. artspace provided an instant art community when I joined 7 years ago and I benefit from its 23 years in Richmond and its wide audience. To connect online, I use Tumblr to promote my work, that of the gallery's other artists and to see what other artists are doing. I use Facebook to promote art events, maintaining my personal page and the artspace Facebook page.
How do you collaborate?
I collaborate through exhibiting with other artists, promoting exhibitions of fellow artists and through discussion with other artists. I've done three collaborative exhibitions with a fellow grad school classmate, Jessica Burke, where we explore the same subject matters; her works a representational interpretation and mine, an abstract interpretation. The Members exhibitions we hold at artspace have been great collaborative experiences as we show our work both at the gallery and in Outreach exhibitions.