My name is Jessica Kneefel and I am a 21 year old contemporary realism artist based out of Denver, Colorado. My works range from painting, sculpting, photography, papercutting and small metal works such as jewelry making. Painting, however, is my main choice of expression. At a young age, I practiced my painting skills alongside my grandfather and have continued to work with acrylics and watercolors. Currently, I am attending the University of Northern Colorado where I will graduate in the year 2020 with a bachelor's degree in Studio Arts and an emphasis in painting.
In the process of creating Tuscan Nativity, I was able to immerse myself in the nature that surrounded me. My vision and inspiration for this project came from being submerged in the national parks of Tuscan, Arizona, allowing me to realize my love for the world's desert wastelands and the ability to discover the secrets they held. I chose to use barren land iconography, such as the cow skull and ravens. In Egyptian Mythology, the cow skull is seen as the mother of sun and a symbol of fertility and renewal. In many North American depictions, the raven symbolizes mystery and divination. Pairing these two main subjects with scenes of cacti, rolling hills, textures forged by the ground and the deep, rich color of our skies, this piece truly invites the raw, untouched terrain of Arizona into our homes and the gallery space. With this piece, I hope to inspire the viewers to research the many pieces of symbolism for themselves, be inspired to explore new lands and indulge in the beauty nature has to offer us.
Kneefel, Jessica, "Tuscan Nativity" (2020). 2020 Annual Student Exhibition. 28.