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Jessica Park Project 

The Exhibition 

QueenThe Art and Life of Jessica Park contains an exceptional array of Park's paintings, drawings and early creations, as well as many photographs of the artist at work and other candid pictures from her artistic career. All stages in the development of Jessica's art are included, and the remarkable circumstances under which her art was created presented in thought provoking texts that portray an artist whose life has been a journey out of the isolated world of autism.

Students from the Advanced Museum Studies class at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts have organized this exhibition under the direction of Dr. Tony Gengarelly, Professor of Art History and Museum Studies and Chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department. Highlights from the five year association between Jessica and MCLA, beginning with her honorary degree in 2003, are included in the show.

The exhibition introduces a 96 page book, Exploring Nirvana: The Art of Jessica Park. Published by MCLA, this tribute to the artist contains 86 color illustrations of Jessica's work along with text created by MCLA faculty and students, with contributions from Dr. Oliver Sacks, Clara Claiborne Park, Tony Gengarelly, Ph.D., and Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass.

Jessica Hillary Park, born July 20, 1958, lives and works in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The daughter of Clara and David Park, Jessica has had to contend with a lifelong struggle with autism. She is the subject of two important books by her mother, The Siege and Exiting Nirvana. A primarily self-taught artist, Jessica employs unique painting techniques to create art that both exemplifies and overcomes the obstacles she faces in daily life. Her work is well known and sought after. Jessica is represented by Pure Vision Arts, a division of the Shield Institute in New York City, and works primarily on commission. Her list of individual and group shows is impressive, and she has received numerous awards and recognition for her art.

This beautiful and informative exhibition allows the viewer to witness the life of an outsider artist through her transformation of the developmental disorder of autism. The exhibition is an excellent opportunity to expand awareness of current artistic and social issues. MCLA would be glad to help in the planning of workshops or symposia connected with the show.

Checklist for the Exhibition:

Paintings

Images are high resolution reproductions*; original works will be integrated when locally available; number of objects can be adjusted to size of exhibition space; dimensions listed here approximate those of the original works.

--Dutch Elm Disease #3, Shingle Painting, 1971, 10 X 8 in.
--The Telephone Skyscrapers, 1984, 20 X 16 in.
--Platycondon, 1987, 20 X 16 in.
--The Railroad Crossing in Hoosick Falls, Nighttime, 1988, 20 X 16 in.
--The Railroad Crossing with Vertical Tracks, 1980, 7 X 10 in.
--Brooklyn Bridge #3 with Lights and Twin Light Pillars, 2003, 24 X 18 in.
--Dodd House #1, 1989, 20 X 16 in.
--Perry House and the Street Light #1, 1989, 20 X 16 in.
--The Great Stained Glass Doors #8, In Winter at Night Time, 1985, 20 X 16 in.
--The Great Stained Glass Doors #9, In summer Near Sunset, 1988, 20 X 16 in.
--Canterbury Cathedral Tower and Libra, 1987, 20 X 16 in.
--The House in Chapin Court, 1987, 16 X 20 in.
--The Potala Palace in Tibet, 1990, 16 X 20 in.
--The House in France with the Thatched Roof, 1993, 16 X 20 in.
--The Silverstein House and the Stoned Lion, 1992, 20 X 16 in.
--The Duke University Chapel, 1993, 20 X 16 in.
--Mark Twain's House and the Diamond Ring Eclipse and Venus, 1999, 20 X 16 in.
--Judy Seixas's House with Circumhorizontal Arc, 1996, 20 X 16 in.
--The Victorian House on 107 Southworth Street, 2000, 20 X 16 in.
--The Flatiron Building with the Double Suns, 1996, 24 X 18 in.
--St. Paul's and St. Andrew's Methodist Church with the Orange Light, 1997, 24 X 18 in.
--George Washington Bridge with Underwater Lightning and Colored Rays, 1998, 24 X 18 in.
--The Noah's Ark with Diverging Rays, 2002, 20 X 16 in.
--The Chrysler Building #2 with Perihelion and Transit of Venus, 2004, 24 X 18in.
--The House in Monterey, 2003, 20 X 16 in.
--The Empire State Building, with Lightning and Cai Guo-Qiang's Light Cycle, 2005, 24 X 18 in.
--U. S. Capitol, 2006, 24 X 18 in.

*The quality of the originals has not been dimmed by the use of digital prints, while the range of images available for exhibition has been greatly increased; also, the cost of the exhibition (shipping, insurance) has been reduced significantly. As a result, there is no fee for the show (sponsoring institutions are expected, however, to pay for shipping and are responsible for any damage to frames or other items in the exhibition package).

Drawings

--Preparatory drawing for the U.S. Capitol, 2006, 20 X 16 in.
--Preparatory drawing for The Chrysler Building #2 with Perihelion and Transit of Venus, 2004, 10 X 8 in.
--Preparatory drawing for The Flatiron Building, 1996, 10 X 8 in.
--Drawing of David Park, 1973, 20 X 16 in.
--Drawing of Anna Saldo (reclining), 1974, 10 X 8 in.
--Drawing of a girl in the doorway, 1964, 9 X 12 in.
--Drawing of a person, 1965, 10 X 8 in.

Illustrated Books

--Book about the Storm, 14 pages (10 X 8 in.), 1969
--The Sketch Book, 21 pages (9 X 12 in.), a. 1974-76
--Book about the Songs, 33 pages ( 13 X 10 ½ in.), 1972

Photographs:

Black and white
--Jessy standing in front of her holiday greeting cards, 2004, 11 X 14 in.
--Jessy and Clara, 2004, 11 x 14 in.
--Jessy at work, close up, 2004, 16 X 20 in.
--Jessy painting, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--Jessy mixing paints, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--Jessy at her work table, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--Jessy's work table and bedroom/studio, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--Jessy painting The Chrysler Building, 2004, 8 X 10 in.

Color
--Jessy, Clara, Oliver Sacks and Penny Marshall, 2002, 10 X 8 in.
--Jessy and MCLA President Mary Grant, 2003, 14 X 11 in.
--Scott Sheldon and David Ortendahl, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--David Park at reception for Exploring Nirvana, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--Anna Saldo, Tony Gengarelly and Clara Park, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--Katie Toohil discusses The House at 53 Cole Avenue, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--Jessy shares a moment with Clara and guest, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--Lane Faison and Tony Gengarelly, 2004, 8 X 10 in.
--Clara, Jessy and Anna Saldo, 2004, 8 X 10 in.

Video

--Rage for Order (from The Mind Traveller: Oliver Sacks, BBC)

Contact Information

If you are interested in showing The Art and Life of Jessica Park, contact Dr. Tony Gengarelly at:

Fine and Performing Arts Department
375 Church Street
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
North Adams, MA, 01247
e-mail:a.gengarelly@mcla.edu
phone: 413-662-5255