Whilst completing her Masters degree, Jessica has developed a strong portfolio of socially engaged focused work – the success of which has been down to her welcoming and generous character. Her interest in creative engagement and social inclusion, teamed with her proficient graphic design skills and practice, resulted in the delivery of an artist in residency local community programme. As part of her real-world context module, Jessica delivered this inspiring series of workshops in Stretford, using creative and accessible approaches to recruit artists from BME backgrounds. The project, titled ‘The Streford Wall of Fame’, not only produced varied multi-disciplinary artwork but also, through her robust research, questioned and challenged how the creative sector can ensure a more diverse audience for the arts. The final pieces were displayed in an outdoor exhibition and seen by thousands.
Jessica’s motivation for bringing art and design to local communities is remarkable, and we look forward to seeing where her enthusiasm takes her, with surely many more notable outreach and engagement creative projects to come. We are honoured to have had such a skilled creative producer within the School’s postgraduate cohort.
Jessica says “I am grateful to Elizabeth Wewiora for nominating me for the Art and Design Award. The project that I have been recognised for was an artist residency and outreach programme called ELEVATE which I instigated and delivered at Stretford Public Hall in 2021, following the Black Lives Matter protests. I am extremely proud of this project because I was able to deliver my vision for an inclusive art programme; it allowed me to combine my experience of socially engaged art and my passion for creating space for underrepresented artists and communities to develop their talent and creativity – and it’s fantastic to be recognised for this. My practice is constantly shifting between three of the Arts and Design courses: Socially Engaged Practice, Visual Communication and Fine Art. Although I am officially studying Visual Communication, I draw inspiration from each specialism to develop ideas – I have always felt supported by my tutors to do this and not felt restricted by making my practice have to fit into a single box. Being shortlisted has shown me that I must doing something right!”