Born and raised in Detroit, Mi, Leeya Rose Jackson recently earned her BFA in Studio Art from Illinois Wesleyan University, graduating cum laude and with arts honors. She is the middle child of three sisters, and grew up dancing, reading, and watching sci-fi.
Typically the paintings and prints I create have decorative motifs that are a blending between Native American and African designs. I create motifs that reflect this notion: such as painted frames that box in the canvas, emulating wood carver’s decorative picture frames. This perhaps is influenced by the home decorations I grew up around; instead of being exposed to famous artist’s works, my earliest education in artistry was African and Native American inspired rugs and cheap wall-paintings that were sold from the backs of vans on street corners. The frames essentially serve as symbols for feeling boxed in by self-fabricated restrictions but also function as a compositional tool. Aesthetically, line and pattern is important in my work: not only with the frames, but also with how I stylistically render subject matter.
I tend to apply these same customs to printmaking. By adding and subtracting layers of information and notably color (earth-tones with warm and cool color contrasts), I compile aesthetically pleasing assimilations that are entirely spontaneous. These prints, along with my lithographic drawings, mirror the same recurring themes as my paintings: struggles with racial identity and life experience, as well as progression and oppression. Even though my work is thematically about my personal experiences, the way in which I intentionally stylize subject matter leaves it open to interpretation for the viewer.