"Wimbley fuses art and photos" by Emily Lau was featured in The University of La Verne's Campus Times on Feb. 26, 2016. Full article below.
Artist-in-residence Jessica Wimbley featured photographic paintings that incorporate both digital and traditional art techniques at her exhibition “Recent Works: Selections from the Belle Jet Series” Tuesday in the West Gallery in the Campus Center.
Wimbley expressed ideas of race, gender and identity in many of her previous works and in this series, drew inspiration from female fashion images published in Jet, a magazine that focused on beauty, fashion and entertainment and was marketed toward an African-American audience.
The exhibition highlighted three of Wimbley’s images along with a display case containing photographic samples from Jet, including cabinet cards and magazine spreads.
Her art shared similarities with old stereographs and cabinet cards, such as having rounded corners. In one art piece, she incorporated her family photographs, which included many generations from her relatives in Germany to her great-great grandmother from the United States.
“Looking at my own personal history and thinking about my family history, I think it’s important to show the diversity of perspectives in looking at my family multigenerationally and kind of telling that story,” Wimbley said.
“I thought it was really important to show the collective bodies within the work that helped composed the identities that I’m wishing to show through the work. It’s this idea of showing multiple identities in a single body and how you show that history and tell that story.”
Wimbley produced the work during her time at the University of La Verne in January, where she had access to the supplies and help she needed.
She has displayed her art in other exhibitions in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Chicago and currently teaches history of women artists at Norco College.
“Jessica is a very active artist, educator and curator, and I spent a lot of time seeing her working in our studios and developing this body of work,” Dion Johnson, director of University art galleries, said.
“As I look at her work, I think of how rich it is in terms of point of view and all the different layers of information.”
Wimbley described the process of her artistic style that incorporates drawing, photography and painting techniques.
She said she starts on the computer, where she uses programs like Photoshop to first work digitally by combining scanned photographs and images from the Internet into different layers.
“When you’re working with something digitally or a file, it’s really abstract – it’s not a physical object, it’s existing in this abstract form in space, and you’re not quite sure what it’s going to look like until it’s printed,” Wimbley said.
“What something looks like on the screen versus when it gets printed are two different things.”
After printing the work on matte paper, Wimbley then transitions to using painting principles, such as thinking about mediums and pigments she wants to use to enhance the composition.
This is also the stage where she corrects any issues that may have occurred during printing.
How the print turns out influences her approach and how she is going to handle it by hand, Wimbley said.
“I don’t know anything about art, so I never heard about that technique before,” freshman legal studies major Kelsie Cooper said. “I never knew that was a thing until now.”
“Recent Works” will be displayed in the West Gallery until March 31.
Emily Lau can be reached at email@example.com.