A headshot of Jessie Thornton

Dance (MFA)

As both a visual and performing artist, Jessie Thornton is deeply interested in the crossings among literature, visual art and movement. Their work investigates the economy of space, the shrinking and unshrinking of the body, abstraction, refusal, and invisibility as tools for the survival of the marginalized, the hypervisible. They navigate themes of Black queerness and gender identity via temporality and secrecy and close attention. Jessie began their studies at University of the Arts in Painting, at which point they began investigating the painting as something existing not just as an object or artifact, but as an activity and a lens through which to see, shape and investigate. They enter this MFA program with both Associate and Bachelor degrees in Painting, as well as curatorial experience as a UArts curatorial committee member. They carry the Ernest W. Greenfield award in Painting and a Presidential Award for Creativity. Jessie most recently presented their work, Speaking of liveness, as part of their department’s Thesis Festival.

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