The Artsy Educator
Ms. Jessica was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a self taught mixed media artist. Ms. Jessica started her art journey over a decade ago; by drawing portraits and the human form. Suddenly and unwittingly, she was thrust into the chaotic journey of chronic illness.
Her last three years of high school were filled with chronic pain, cyclical vomiting, doctor’s appointments, medical procedures and eventually surgery. She missed an entire year of high school, as doctors tried to diagnose her condition.
Ms. Jessica’s drawings and creations carried her through the ordeal. Art became her “peace” amongst the chaos of being a teenager dealing with eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs). EGIDs of the stomach and small bowel are a rare, painful, incurable, and unpredictable illness.
Since then, Ms. Jessica has refused to let her chronic illness hinder her. She uses art and her diagnosis as an example to others and to those who may be experiencing illnesses and need a little inspiration to know that their current situation does not determine their future.
Scroll down to see Ms. Jessica's professional art!
Clay Mural Article:
Ms. Jessica graduated high school with many distinctive academic honors, academic scholarships and math and science scholarships. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology, from UAB, where she served in many organizations; and was a founding Chair of the UAB Psychology Club.
After a careless intoxicated driver rear-ended her family’s car while they were headed home on New Year’s Eve; her mother sustained multiple injuries and little sister also sustained multiple injuries, include a TBI that caused her to develop epilepsy. Ms. Jessica decided to put her graduate plans on hold to assist her family and to search for ways to help others deal with chronic illnesses and difficult situations.
Ms. Jessica returned to Jefferson County School System to teach art at Clay Elementary. A position graciously funded by the City of Clay. Being the art teacher of over 500 students at Clay has brought immense joy into Ms. Jessica’s life. She enjoys seeing how each student interprets their art assignments and the joy they experience creating.