Artist Profile: Jessie Whitehead

The Frame Shop is honored and ecstatic to welcome Jessie Whitehead to the team! Jessie joined our sales staff in December and now she's ready to show her off work at our next 3rd Friday event on February 17th. We caught up with Jessie long enough to rattle off a few questions about the show, her relief prints and who inspires her most.

Are you originally from Chicago?

No, I am not from Chicago. I relocated here in September 2013 from Connecticut.

And where did you pick up relief printmaking?

I have worked with relief printmaking for over 25 years. I was introduced to printmaking during my undergraduate study. I continued to work with the various printmaking techniques while obtaining my MFA in printmaking.

Connected

Who are some artists that inspire you?

The two artists that immediately come to mind are Charles Wilbert White and Howardena Pindell. Charles White was a very early inspiration. I was (and still am) moved by his subject matter, style and media. Howardena Pindell's process, and the political and social content of her art inspires my work. I am also inspired by local artist David Anthony Geary, and my cousin, Joseph Pearson.

Where did you develop skills as a framer? How does knowledge of framing enter into your vision of presentation?

I initially learned framing decades ago from a friend in Mississippi who owned her own framing business. My knowledge and experience has enhanced since moving to Chicago. Framing has taught me to be mindful of the possibilities when preparing my work for display.

How does your family enter into or support your work as an artist?

My family never questioned my decision to pursue art degrees. Their encouragement has been and continues to be significant to me as an artist. I proudly share with them any new work created. In addition to their emotional support, they support me with their presence when my work is exhibited in their region.

What tools do you absolutely need in order to work?

The main thing I like to have is music. If I do not have music, I want quietness. I do not require stimulants such as coffee or soda.

If you could have lunch with anybody living or dead, who would it be and where would you go?

The choice of person requires some pondering. There are a few people I would like to have lunch with...I, however, narrowed it down to the former first lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama. We would dine at either my family's home, a restaurant on the Mississipi Gulf Coast or a restaurant in New Orleans.

Join us for our 3rd Friday Reception at The Frame Shop, 3520 S Morgan Street on February, 17th from 7pm-9pm.