Blurring the lines between artist and adventurer, Jessa Gilbert creates artworks that celebrate adventure and wilderness, drawing inspiration directly from her travels and exploration in the backcountry. She grew up in Upstate New York before moving to Vermont to study Art and Art History at the University of Vermont… and to snowboard. She worked primarily as a product developer in Vermont while also competing nationally in freestyle snowboarding through the sponsorship of various brands. Her relocation to BC in 2013 marked the transformation of her art as separate from her pursuits in the outdoors to one dependent upon regular engagement in the backcountry. Procrastination and a desire to be outside proved to be the catalyst in her developing a series of drawings from the road, the #getoutoftownvibe, where she began taking her studio out with her into the backcountry and on her travels. This series is ever expanding and serves as the backbone for her larger projects, from graphic design to her recent 2,400 square foot mural in the Creekside Underpass in Whistler BC. Squamish now serves as her basecamp, where she works primarily as a landscape painter and snowboard guide for Baldface Lodge. Check out more of her artwork and story online at www.jessagilbert.com.
In the mountains; covered in paint.
Painters have been looking to landscapes for inspiration for centuries, so how is it that we so often separate artists from athletes and an active outdoor life? Exploring the connections between a creative life as a painter and an adventurous life of outdoor play is the primary focus of Jessa’s artwork. The stereotypical chain-smoking, self loathing artist in black is far from Jessa’s reality, as she hauls her studio through the backcountry to explore the parallels between creating art and a life outdoors. Whether it be drafting a new piece or climbing a ridge, blending colours or pitching a tent, Jessa draws connections between these two passions that reflect larger life lessons, and help to explain why she so often finds herself in the mountains, covered in paint.