Jessica Kincaid

Open Studio


Heaven and Earth

  • glass beads, thread.

  • 14 x 17in

  • 2006

"Heaven and Earth" was inspired by a dream I had about Heaven when I was in my early teens. I dreamed I lived in a building where every person inhabited a white marble room. In my dream I had imagined what Heaven would be like. In my room I had nothing and I wanted nothing; I had no feeling of loneliness. I saw a city in which other souls were in rooms just like mine. When I saw photographs of the Potala Palace in Tibet, it reminded me of the dream. I worked on the portrait of the Potala for several years, never finding that it made sense with any series I was working on at the time.

When I read the book of Revelation, it also struck a chord. In the Bible, Heaven was described in a way that made sense to me:

Rev 21:4 "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

I completed the piece using images from the book of Revelation, such as the Tree of Life and the fountains of the Waters of Life.

The Building with Hematite Windows

  • glass beads, thread.

  • 19 x 16in

  • 2006

In December 2007 I had a dream in which there was an apartment building but it wasn’t a heavenly realm. It looked more like the apartment buildings near the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. The bricks were predominantly a sandy tan color. From the outside the windows looked like they were made of hematite. They were made of thick, one-way reflective glass that appeared opaque from the outside. The windows were round.

There was no public entrance on the ground floor. I happened to know that each apartment had a rope ladder hanging out the back window. I felt ambivalent about seeing the living quarters of the inhabitants; I already knew what was inside. I felt some pity for the people who lived in the apartments.

There was plenty of natural scenery outside the building. The forest behind the building and the lawn extending in front were lush and colorful. Their beauty overpowered my curiosity about the rooms inside the building.

Inner City Brigadoon

  • glass beads, thread.

  • 15 x 17in

  • 2010

On January 24, 2009 I dreamed that I wanted to take a class and I understood that it was meeting in an interesting-looking building. I had trouble finding it so I stopped and got out of my car and went for a walk. The neighborhood had small one-story houses that looked like they had been built in the 1920’s or earlier.

The houses and lawns were well maintained and there was a sense of calm security. It was in Kansas City, Missouri, in a small community untouched by commercialism. An African-American young lady explained that this neighborhood had been protected from payday and title loan companies, video stores and billboards advertising gun shows that turn communities shoddy. This was a comfortable community where families in clean homes lived within their means.

First Grade Self-Portraits

  • glass beads, thread.

  • 14 x 17in

  • 2009

This is a picture of some classrooms in which I have assisted students. I briefly worked in the Turner school district where there was no visual art program, and I saw that the teachers worked hard to incorporate art projects into their lessons.

The children in this situation are listening to a story about a dinosaur, or working on puzzles at tables. We see their real faces in their self portraits displayed on the wall behind the teacher.

Perfume Counter

  • glass beads, thread.

  • 14 x 17in

  • 2009

Inside a defunct shopping mall an underground tunnel opens up into an area with bright crystalline lighting and pristine displays.

One time I dreamed that I had to dig through a tunnel on my stomach and then when I escaped into the light I was in a giant shopping center. I went to the cosmetic counter and tried on some lipstick. I looked in the mirror and I was movie star good looking with beautiful thick blond hair and full lips.

I was wearing an orange lipstick that has never been my color but it looked good in the dream.

In the background there is an elevator that used to be in the back of one of the old department stores, Harzfeld’s or Woolf Brothers. The store had a checkered floor too. They still sold the most expensive cosmetics. I wanted to show the meeting of these two strange realms: dilapidated vs. glitzy-cool.

Retail Theater

  • glass beads, thread.

  • 15 x 18in

  • 2009

I dreamed that my mother and I went to Kmart. The ceiling is low in proportion to the span of the sales floor, and that was even further exaggerated in the dream. We were going to shop for jeans but it was almost completely dark inside the store. The departments of the store spread out in near darkness. There were racks of clothes but just a little bluish ambient light.

I found myself separated from my Mom and in a large area of the store that looked like a movie theater. It was also dimly lit by greenish blue light.

The room was also very wide in proportion to the height of the walls. There were sunken round areas for sitting and there were a few platforms with nice leather chairs on them.

I sat on one of the chairs and it slowly hinged backwards until I was looking at the ceiling. It had a geometric design like a dark red Persian rug.

Climbing Inside the Tower

  • glass beads, thread.

  • 16 x 16in

  • 2009

I dreamed that I climbed into the window of a building made entirely of wood, and that once I had entered the small window I was in a tiny room.

There was a window from the ceiling of that small room that opened into another space above it. On it went through progressively more narrow passages from room to room in an upward spiral.

The conclusion of the dream was a transition into the daylight I saw through the final opening.

The Spirit is present while we are looking away

  • glass beads, thread.

  • 12 x 10.5in

  • 2011

This piece was created in conjunction with the exhibition "Between Thee and Me," on view at the Greenlease Gallery from August 26- October 1, 2011.

Inspired by an upholstered chair from the Van Ackeren Collection of religious artifacts. I selected the object because I was drawn to the cut velvet back cushion. It depicted a hunting scene centered on a man wearing Elizabethan costume. He had two dogs at his feet, which were the most visible lines in the image.

Under the assumption that each artifact in the Van Ackeren Collection was of religious significance, I homed in on this scene and looked for its symbolism.

Working from imagery in the original fabric, I chose to present a vaporous figure beside a wall of light. I use chalky white beads to represent a certain kind of light. It is more of a presence than a kind of light.