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Jess Owens-Young


Jess Owens-Young (b. 1986) is a multidisciplinary self-taught artist whose work focuses on

living while Black in the United States. Her work seeks to highlight Black people’s joy in the US,

especially during childhood. Her work incorporates nature, such as the outdoors, flowers, and

houseplants, to share the connections Black people have with the natural world. She uses her

art to explore the lives of Black people, including interior lives, both physically and emotionally.

Jess works primarily with acrylics, oil pastels, oil pigment sticks, and acrylic inks on paper. Her

works include figurative painting and collage. She also works digitally along the same themes.

Her inspirations include artists such as William H. Johnson, Elizabeth Catlett, Emory Douglas,

Delita Martin, Henry Taylor, Deborah Roberts, and Alice Neel, and authors such as Octavia

Butler and Toni Morrison.

Artist Statement:

My inspiration is drawn from observation of Black life. I look to my lived experiences, as well as

those from my wife, family, friends, and communities, including my in-person and virtual

communities. My art practice centers figuration and portraiture, but I am currently adding

aspects of abstraction to my latest work to explore Black experiences more fully through my

lens. I am interested in the interactions of figure and space to create narratives and meanings

and how colors and shape evoke emotions. Memory and the emotions related to memories,

especially play and joy, also drive my art practice. I hope that when viewers interact with my

work, they are pulled not only into the physical attributes of my work, but also pulled a bit within

themselves to experience and connect with the emotions my work evokes.

The trumpeter, No. 2.jpeg

"The Trumpeter, No. 2",  18in x 24in  $1,000

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