Artist's Statement
In the Spring of 2024, I picked up a paintbrush for the first time in 20 years. In the midst of a difficult time in my life, painting became a space of comfort and calm. Spring in Portland is a breathless tumble of flower after flower coming into bloom; from lilacs to magnolias to dogwoods to peonies… I took a deep breath and set to work attempting to capture these flowers in watercolor. I fell in love with the medium and the way it allowed me to experiment with mixing and layering color. Flowers, with their endless variety of forms and colors, are the perfect subject for this exploration.

Jessica Pezalla has a background designing art installations, public art, and retail environments. With her design studio Bramble Workshop, she has created large scale installations and window displays for clients including Hermès, Anthropologie, West Elm, KEEN, Old Navy, and Wieden + Kennedy.

Flowers are a recurring theme throughout her work and, in 2018 and 2019, she created paper flower installations for the Portland International Airport and Crystal Bridges Museum

This love of flowers runs through her family; her grandparents wrote the definitive guide to Northland Wildflowers, and her mother was an ardent gardener and naturalist, dedicated to growing native plants and conserving the Illinois prairie.

Jessica has an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA in Studio Art from Oberlin College. In 2009 she completed a one year artist's residency at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. She received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and The Ford Family Foundation for her installation at the Portland Airport.

Photo by Kate Ames