Storm Interruption
Ghost City
Ideal Shelter
Ghosts of Shadow Memory
LBI Destruction
Puerto Rico
Shadow City
Installation View
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St. Louis Cathedral | 2006, acrylic on wood, 27" x 10" x 4”
Decatur Street, New Orleans | 2006, acrylic on wood, 3’ x 4’
Asbury Park, Casino 2 | 2006, oil and acrylic on wood, 9" x 18" x 3”
Lucca | 2006, oil and acrylic on wood, 2' x 4’
Cathedral Fishtown | 2008, oil and acrylic on wood, 12" x 36”
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Member Portfolio

Jessica Demcsak

Philadelphia, PA


Artist Statement

When experiencing the world, one cannot overlook the structures that surround us and give us shelter.The house itself is our first world.Structures house our dreams, memories, secrets and failures.Each space and corner represents a time in our lives. Aged structures retain a history of the experiences and thoughts of its inhabitants.Memories rub off the insides and outsides of the spaces that exist and become a part of us, whether it is our memories of a similar place or the building’s memories of other inhabitants. Architecture is like a man made garden with buildings sprouting up instead of flowers, overcrowding like weeds in our environment. It is a love hate relationship between the necessity of shelter and the taking away of space. I am inspired by its dichotomy of beauty and ugliness, necessary protection and excessive luxury.
When visiting a place, I document my experience with photographs. I photograph curious spaces and ones which have history. I try to pare down the intricate decorative elements and shapes which speak the most of a place. I leave the silhouettes of new structures and instill them with my own thoughts and memories. The impression that is left acknowledges the experience.
My paintings are sculptural. They sprawl from the wall onto the ground and are painted on various types of raw materials such as firewood. I wanted to elevate this wood as the final product instead of a means to an end. Firewood symbolizes one of the most valuable commodities in times past that is now mostly overlooked save an emergency. There is such beauty in these misshapen uneven pieces. I wanted to explore painting on their surface.
I place the paintings in my lap in close proximity to my body.The layering of memories, in addition to transparent and opaque painted layers, illustrates the wisps of thought that arise when remembering a specific location. Painting in such a devoted way, will hopefully reflect the closeness of the viewer’s gaze. The idea that the viewer will share the same space as I while creating the painting is fascinating. Sharing an experience through an object relates to the idea of memories contained in a space.
With the rise in natural disasters comes increasing thought on the strength and importance of structure as well as the significanceof being in the moment. Shelter functionsmore than just protection.

Artist Biography

Jessica Demcsak is a New Jersey artist. She received her BFA in Painting from Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, New Jerseyin 1999, her MA in Art Education from Kean University in 2001, and her MFA in Painting from The University of the Arts in Philadelphiain 2004. Demcsak has exhibited in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania area. Her work has beenincluded in New American Paintings Magazine as well as New Jersey Monthly. She currently resides in Bridgewater, New Jersey with her husband and three children.


University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
MFA, Painting
Kean University, Union, NJ
MA, Art Education
Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
BFA, Painting

Awards & Honors

Fresh Paint Magazine
Top 30 Under 30 in New Jersey, NJ Monthly Magazine
Grant Recipient, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Food For Thought Fellowship, Sumei Multidisciplinary Art Center
New American Paintings Magazine, #57


“Top 30 Under 30 in New Jersey,” New Jersey Monthly, Morristown, NJ
New American Paintings Magazine #57


Suspension of Time, International House, Philadelphia, PA
The Crane Adjacent, The Hall, Inliquid at the Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA
Intimate Spaces, Philadelphia Art Alliance, PA
Jessica Demcsak, Domo Gallery, Summit, NJ

Wonder Women 11 Eye of the Storm, The Pingry School, Basking Ridge, NJ
Wonder Women 11 Eye of the Storm, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ
Dunya, Alhamra Art Center, Bernardsville, NJ
7 Artists 7 Teachers, Farmstead Arts Center, Basking Ridge, NJ
A Dark Wood, Curious Matter, Jersey City, NJ & Noyes Museum, Atlantic City, NJ
Heart Wood, Hamilton Street Gallery, Boonton, NJ
Wood Works, Speakeasy Gallery, Boonton, NJ
Nature, The Center For Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ
Making It, Hamilton & Arronson Galleries, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Within the Foreground, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2014 Juried Exhibition, The Center For Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ
Sundance Channel, New York City, NY
New Jersey Green, Arts Council of the Morris Area, NJ
SPRAWL, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ
Landscape on the Edge, Art Trust Gallery, West Chester, PA
Mini Mania II, The Arts Guild of Rahway, Rahway, NJ
Metro 24, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ
Endings & Beginnings, Rock Paper Scissors Gallery,
Asbury Park, NJ
The Square Foot Show, Art Gotham, New York, NY
City as Nature, Afif Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Food for Thought, Sumei Multidisciplinary Art Center, Newark, NJ
Urban Life, Esther Klein Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Local Color, Artspace 129, Montclair, NJ
Window on Broad, Philadelphia, PA
SUMFA 10, Rosenwald-Wolf, Hamilton & Arronson Galleries, Philadelphia, PA
Juror: Robert Storr
Young Art Alliance, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
James Howe Gallery, Kean University, Union, NJ
MFA Thesis Exhibition, The Crane Building & Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Happy Birthday, Nova Fine Art, Clinton, NJ
WIP Show Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
International Juried Competition, New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ
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