Jessica Billey is an Oregon artist working primarily in woodcut printmaking and
drawing. Her print work features intricately carved closeups of flowers, bees, and
other natural elements affected by climate change. Her artwork is rooted in themes
of connection, place, and the identity of home and how these elements evolve and
interact through time. Her newest print work includes scenes that evoke natural
moments of magical realism and a graphic musical score that speaks to the effects
of fire on wild bee populations.
Jessica tends to work in long series, often dedicating years of exploration to a single
in-depth topic or playful subject. This penchant for working in series is also a natural
component of printmaking. A common element throughout much of her artwork
is the use of ancestral symbols from her Ukrainian heritage and long-distant Sami
These symbols are often present in the Antler Family, a playful series of small oil
painting portraits of antler-clad characters. This series began on a music tour bus in
2002, and made its debut at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles. Currently this series
contains nearly 450 paintings on three different continents in over a dozen countries.
The Antler Family turns 20 in 2022, at which point Jessica plans to bring the count to
500 paintings and retire this series.
In recent years, Jessica has turned her long-series attention to a more substantial
portrait project about People Who Live Alone. Since 2017, she has been exploring
the unique experience of solo living through pencil drawn portraits and one-on-one
conversations. This ongoing project has ambitious interpersonal and humanitarian
goals and seeks to give people who live alone a creative opportunity to be seen and
Along with being a visual artist, Jessica is also a life-long musician with decades of
stage and studio experience. She has toured, recorded, and performed with numerous
groups both nationally and internationally. Her violin and musical career has included
classical music, western swing, bluegrass, folk, country, and rock, and currently
explores a particular interest in experimental music and improvisational soundscapes.
Jessica studied fine arts with an emphasis on painting and printmaking at the
University of Evansville and Purdue University. Previous exhibits have included
work and performances at IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe,
NM), SITE Santa Fe (NM), Brooklyn Fire Proof Gallery (NY), Corrine Woodman
Gallery (Corvallis, OR), and Postcommodity’s Spirit Abuse Gallery (Albuquerque,