Jessica Wohl is a multidisciplinary artist who uses found remnants of domestic culture to explore social inequities that range from systemic racism to the demands of motherhood. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota she graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute and received her MFA from the University of Georgia. Among other publications, her work has been featured in the New York Times T Magazine, New American Paintings, Vogue, ArtNews, and has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally. She has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Stove Works, the Hambidge Center for the Art and participated in An Artist Residency in Motherhood. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Chair of the Art, Art History and Visual Studies department at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.   

Particularly drawn to the home and its residents, I respond to found remnants of domestic culture for their associations with comfort and home. Regardless of the media, I make handmade marks that reveal flaws and display evidence of imperfection, creating a tension between discomfort and familiarity. As timeless methods of mending and fixing, I use sewing and gluing as metaphors for “keeping it together” in a time when so many things are falling apart. Like social engagement and activism, much of my work employs small gestures, made over a long period of time, that culminate in a large result.

I seek out used clothes, found photographs, old magazines and discarded debris from thrift stores and yard sales across the country. This domestic detritus is handed-down, passed along, stained, smelly, loved and Someone Else’s. I use these materials as stand-ins for American families and individuals.  In my quilts and collages, they become one harmonious form, and their unification can call to attention the magnitude of what is possible when we focus on what we share.

In a climate of polarized citizenry, civil unrest and stolen dreams, my work explores the physical and psychological implications of domestic artifacts, relationships, policies and systems on our society’s obsession with, and definition of, the American Dream.