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The Jessica Park Project

Current Activities

Exhibition, "Enthusiasms: Personal Paintings by Jessica Park," at the Bennington Museum, Bennington, Vermont, February 1-May 28, 2018.  Special reception for the artist on February 3.

Jessica Park (b. 1958) is best known for her depictions of architecture, though early in her career she often painted whimsical images of electronic gadgets, signs, logos, and characters from popular culture, all of which still deeply fascinate the artist to this day. "Enthusiasms: Personal Paintings by Jessica Park" features a lesser-known aspect of Park’s work, focusing on the first decade of her career and more recent creations from the last decade that were created at the artist’s own initiative as gifts for family and friends, or to keep for herself. These works reflect Park’s deeply personal interests, or “enthusiasms” as she calls them, in popular culture, astronomical phenomenon, and prismatic lights and color, natural or man-made, often configured in tightly controlled grid-like structures.

 

New Park Project Exhibition at MCLA 94 Porter Street Gallery: "Another World: Young Poets and Artists from The Poetry Studio," currently through 2019.

This exhibition of young people’s poetry and art from The Poetry Studio opened in the fall of 2016 to a four month run at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. Then titled “Windows to Creative Expression” the display so moved Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord that he wrote in his brochure essay: “The rich display of imagery, lyrical economy, and bold self-exploration in these recent poems from The Poetry Studio both dazzles and moves the reader.” Indeed, their depth of wisdom and sensitivity to community, both natural and human, is something these young poets and artists can offer those of us who have, in many ways, become desensitized to the origin and potential of the human experience. Beyond content, however, is the young people’s stunning ability with words and images that reaches beyond the ordinary to touch the core of original expression. Here is a marvelous example of how words can inspire images and images words; how literary imagination combines with illustration and decorative style to create meaning.

We hope you will delight in and be moved to thought by the creative work of these wonderful young people. Here is yet another large and artistically primed constituency waiting to be seen and heard.

A thank you to the Department of Fine and Performing Arts for the use of this space and to Jessica Park Project intern Alexandra Sasso who helped organize the exhibition.


—New Book Project (in progress):

Mentoring and Marketing Artists on the Autism Spectrum

Authors:
Dr. Michael McManmon, Artist and Director of the College Internship Program
Dr. Tony Gengarelly, Professor Emeritus of Art History and Director of the Jessica Park Project (MCLA)
Produced by the College Internship Program, Pittsfield, MA

Vision Statement

The visual arts help young adults on the spectrum to self-actualize and form a bridge to inclusion, socialization, and the world of work. Our vision is to connect young artists with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to develop their careers in art. We will present to them role models whose stories they can imitate to launch their own careers.

How This Book Can Be Used

Those who work with Autistic individuals—including parents, middle and high school teachers, mentors, advisors, and educators in the Arts Management and Special Education fields at the college level—often struggle to understand and mentor artistic students on the Autism Spectrum. This book aims to provide them with the tools to assist these young adults in turning their talents into viable, enriching, and financially rewarding career paths. It can be used by parents, educators, mentors, career advisors, and others working in dedicated teaching and learning environments or in collaboration with organizations like the College Internship Program or Landmark College in Putney, Vermont.

The book is also of great value to professional care providers and interested supporters who are looking for ways to enhance the personal growth and enrichment of the young adults they work with.

The stories contained here allow readers and users of this book to experience examples of success, challenges, and obstacles. They can provide an impetus for young artists and their families to pursue their dreams of a career in art. With proper mentoring and marketing, many of these students can harness their talents into rewarding and fulfilling careers that make the most of their natural artistic gifts.

Jessica Park Las Vegas painting

Jessica Park (b. 1958)
Las Vegas (detail), 2016
Acrylic on paper, 21 x 36 inches
Courtesy of the Artist