South Philadelphia: Local Artist Makes Fine Art More Accessible To Consumers
Philadelphia artist Jessica Joy London has a unique process when it comes to painting.
Using natural materials like leaves, rocks and even some onion skins with a mixture of ink and water, she is able to create large scale masterpieces that will leave anyone in awe.
After getting her bachelor of fine art from the University of South Florida and her master of fine art from the University of Michigan, London settled in Philadelphia to forward her art career.
Since moving to South Philadelphia two years ago, London has begun a new venture – making her way into the fashion world.
“I want my art to be more accessible,” London said. “That’s why I’m making the jump to fashion and starting with the jewelry line that features the most beautiful features from my painting.”
Collecting art will be easier than ever with London’s new jewelry line, JJLONDON, that will begin with a series of necklaces called the REN Collection, which stands for revolving exhibition necklace.
London wants people to have more access to fine art and plans to give them a new outlet for collecting.
By cutting small pieces out of her larger paintings, London is giving people a little piece of art that they can keep and wear in their necklace.
She wants people to know that anyone is qualified to collect art. It doesn’t have to be such a luxury.
“I think people don’t really know what they’re missing and how important art is for their soul,” London said.
With the help of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator, an organization that supports emerging fashion designers in Philadelphia, London has begun to turn her ideas into something tangible with the first prototypes of her necklace.
Elissa Bloom, executive director of the Incubator, said that London is an ambitious artist and inspires those around her.
“Her drive and passion for her work was evident very early on,” Bloom said. “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Jessica and watch as she grows as an artist and designer.”
Each necklace can be unique in that a buyer can choose which piece of art will go inside.
The frame of the necklace opens as well so that multiple art pieces can slide in at a time so one will show on either side.
In addition to featuring her own art work in the necklaces, London would like to start a build-your-own option that will give buyers the power to make their own piece of art to put in the necklace.
“I want [people] to know what it really feels like to make something beautiful that they’re surprised that they could do,” London said.
One goal of the REN Collection necklaces is to cultivate creativity and help consumers find the ability to create a piece of art with any materials that they have around.
London hopes that people will be inspired by her work to use natural materials in their artistic practices.
In the future, she would like to hold workshops to help people realize their creative potential and teach them how to use more sustainable materials to experiment with.
–Text, video and photos by Ana Padilla.