Jessica Russell

Art Nest Lead Educator

I’m an artist, educator, writer and curator, with a background in architecture and a life spent between hemispheres — Australia is my birthplace. When I graduated from art school at Sydney University in the 90s, my focus was sculpture and installation, with an emphasis on theory and perception. I later earned my Masters in Architecture from Yale where I learned hand drafting, which reignited my love of drawing and painting. So in a way, art school led me to architecture, and architecture back to fine art. I stopped working in the architectural profession in favor of the competing demands of raising children and maintaining my studio practice.

From 2016–2020 I founded and ran an independent art studio for families in a converted industrial building in Bantam, CT. Artroom Atelier received recognition and awards for its process-focused, co-creative work with children, including a 2018 Creativity Award from the Northwest CT Arts Council. I now continue my work serving children and families as a roving artist-educator, partnering with schools and organizations like the Wassaic Project. My focus remains on delivering empowering, open-ended experiences to children of all ages. I'm beyond thrilled to be here, where the foundation of this organization is built on supporting artists, artmaking, and the importance of community in creative lives, especially those of its children.

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