Cincinnati native Jessica Held is a painter, photographer, small business owner and teaching artist in rural Appalachia Athens, Ohio. She earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in painting and photography at Ohio University. Jessica has exhibited nationally and internationally with her first exhibit in Prague, Czech Republic while studying abroad. As a practicing professional artist, she continues to exhibit and publish her paintings, photographs and collaborations. Recently, Jessica’s work has been exhibited in the Women of Appalachia Project and published in Women Speak books.
A continuous theme in Jessica’s work is concentration on both painting and photography. Inspired by abstract expressionism, she pours acrylic paints and pigments. While the poured paints are still wet, she photographs her favorite detailed areas. Jessica is the artist and owner of Flux and Function LLC. She creates functional art such as painted lazy susans, coasters, stools, TV trays and light switch plates. Her detailed images are printed on cards, journals, pillowcases and earrings. She uses locally sourced materials and services when possible. Recently, her small business was awarded an Ohio’s Windy Road Seed Grant.
For more than two decades, Jessica has been a visiting and teaching artist in schools and art centers. Starting after college, she has taught art enrichment and art appreciation classes, interdisciplinary and STEAM lessons, all-age community art events and summer art camps in Ohio, Texas, Indiana and Michigan. Recently, Jessica has taught after school art enrichment to elementary, middle and high school students in neighboring counties in Ohio through Kids on Campus program and summer art camps at the Dairy Barn Arts Center.