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  • Writer's pictureDanita Gibbs

Jessica Dehen: Artist, Student, Teacher

A local girl making her way through the artistic world!

Jessica Dehen, born in Coral Springs, Florida is a non-objective painter working towards her Master of Fine Art in Painting from the University of Miami.

“I think a lot of people tend to mix up non-objective and abstract,” said Dehen. “With abstract art, there’s typically some type of reference to reality where I’m looking at something…capturing the essence of it. Where with non-objective painting, it’s looking at paint on a surface…the dialogue that happens between me and the canvas.”

Born and raised in the Florida, Dehen has truly engulfed her work with her surroundings; she didn’t realized until now that the intense colors she sees in South Florida, can also be seen throughout her work. Dehen’s now trying to find a balance between her use of her usual intense colors and more muted ones.

If one were to ask Dehen when she knew she wanted to be an artist, she’d say “I always knew!” She enjoyed other subjects in school, but art was the only thing that “made sense.”

“I always joke how they have the majors in alphabetical order and art was at the top, so I picked art,” laughed Dehen. “But in reality, there was no reason for me to scroll; I knew that arts what I wanted to do.”

With viewing Dehen’s work, she doesn’t expect viewers to feel the way she may have been feeling when creating the piece; “I just want it to be something for them to interact with and I really value the interaction that happens between people and a painted surface,” said Dehen. She tries to follow the “Jackson Pollock” style of creating and “just paint,” and not get caught up in her own head.

Dehen’s way of letting go and letting the colors take over her work has inspired her follow colleagues to do the same with theirs. Melissa Tychonievich, a figurative painter in the MFA in Painting program, stated that Dehen has “broken down barriers” for her in regards of using colors in her pieces.

“Until meeting her, it was like, why am I afraid of color?” questioned Tychonievich. “Why am I not as just fearless as she is.” Dehen helped Tychonievich realize that she can still create pieces that focus on the accuracy of the body figures and still bring color into it.

After obtaining her master’s degree, Dehen hopes to continue inspiring others through teaching. She stated that “teaching people that don’t really know what they’re capable of doing,” is her ultimate goal. Just being able to pass her passions off to others is something that she’s most is excited about.

“I think she’s a fabulous teacher!” exclaimed Tychonievich.

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