Artist Spotlight + Inside the Artist Studio of Jessica Strahan

Uncompromising raw emotion.

“Uncompromising raw emotion.” Those are the three words chosen by Jessica Strahan when asked to describe her art. She is a self-taught artist from the Upper 9th Ward. The city, as well as the African diaspora, inspires her. It’s easy to see those influences throughout her work.

“Upper 9th Ward”

“Drawing and painting have always brought me peace. My earliest creations were on the backs of worksheets, inside books. I was always drawing, on everything. As my artistic abilities became more apparent, I found support from family, friends, and teachers: my mom’s friends gave me sketch pads; an elementary school teacher let me decorate the classroom and showcased my work to other faculty.”

“Ruby”, by Jessica Strahan

“I found creating to be liberating, and, thankfully, lifesaving: I had a crazy childhood. I lived with a lot of different people in a lot of different places, and I can’t imagine what would have happened if I never picked up the brush.”

“Queen of Gospel”, by Jessica Strahan

“Having depicted countless scenes and characters, I have found that the greatest creative clarity is when I’m focused on myself. l painted many different topics growing up. But when I tapped into myself, and really went deep into my emotions through my work, I really felt free as an artist.”

Jessica Strahan is one of the twelve Where Y’Artists selected for “300 for 300”, a collaboration with Nola Media Group for the New Orleans Tricentennial celebration.

Read more here and be sure to check out Jessica’s artist profile.


Where Y’Art is the proud partner of Nola Media Group, the producers of / The Times-Picayune for its 300 for 300 project, marking the tricentennial of New Orleans, running through 2018 and highlighting 300 people who have made New Orleans, New Orleans.