My name is Jessie Houff. I am a nomadic artist who was born in Fairfax County, Virginia and raised in the Shenandoah Valley. I grew up with values rooted in family, travel, and spirituality. I am a mixed media artist with focuses on book arts, papermaking, and installation. When I am not at home or in the studio, you can most likely find me buried in a vintage book store drinking a café au lait, dreaming of being in a Gene Kelly movie, and planning a fun evening with friends, snacks, and card games.
I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Art and Theatre at Bridgewater College in Virginia. After graduating I went on to be a full time volunteer through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). I also volunteered as an Assistant Arts Teacher and Administrative Assistant for the Refugee Youth Summer Academy run by Artists Striving to End Poverty in New York City. These experiences working with underserved communities sparked a passion for art as social practice. I received my Master of Fine Art in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. I currently work as an AmeriCorps member as a Visual Arts Teacher at Access Art, teaching middle school youth in the Morrell Park neighborhood. I design curriculum and teach lessons engaging youth in a variety of collaborative art projects with a focus on youth development.
I enjoy diving deeply into my spiritual roots living a peaceful minimalist life, buying only what is needed, reusing what I can, and spreading goodness wherever I go. I look forward to growing in my artistry by continuing to teach, travel, and make new connections. To learn more, visit my website!
Accumulate. 2019. MFA Thesis work.
Recycled and handmade papers. “Come as you are. Be. Write your woes or your joys. Take the time for you. Crumble, throw, release. Feel the accumulation. Now comes the fun part; Wade in the pile. Come on in, the paper’s fine. Then go and spread good.”
Simply. Peacefully. Together. 2019. MFA Thesis work.
Acrylic on Water Color Paper. Three panels 3'X10'.These banners hold love letters, scripture, and a personal reflection on the scripture.
Transformative Papermaking workshops. MICA Alumni Weekend. 2019.
Jessie offers special Papermaking Workshops to local organizations or individuals who are looking for a unique art making experience. Participants demolish newspapers riddled with bad news and overwhelming stories. Through the process of blending, straining, and pressing, a new paper sheet is made on which art decoratives are added, such as dried flowers and metallic glitter. The former newspaper creates a new foundation for beauty and transformation. Visit jessiehouffart.com to learn more
Jessie is a papermaker, sourcing all recycled fibers from junk mail to denim jeans. She loves creating something new from materials collected over time. The paper is used for bookmaking, journaling, caligraphy, drawing, and collaging and is available for purchase by the sheet.
Acrylic, graphite, and book pages on books.