Jessica Lynn Jefferies Gambino has been called "GICA" by her siblings since childhood. It is no coincidence that her art is still recognized by that name because, in truth, art is who Gica is. Her only interest from childhood to this very day has always only been to express herself through art and to express her life artistically. She began signing her pieces in those days as "Gica" and still does today. Her work constitutes a body of art that spans sixty years and reflects not only a lifetime of creativity, but a lifetime of contributions to the important industry of art.
She was the go-to gal at Marycrest High School in Denver, Colorado whenever anyone needed something created. Girls had her doing posters for special events, calligraphy for their graduation cards, she won first place in "Stars of Tomorrow" music contest, and she designed the cover for "Reflections", the school yearbook in her junior and senior years. When her schoolmates became wives, they called upon her to make their wedding dresses, beautifully embroidered silk, lace, or velvet garments.
She comes from a family of successful and famous artists. Her uncle, Matt Jefferies created and designed the famous Starship Enterprise which now hangs in the Smithsonian Institute and was art director on Star Trek, Dallas, Little House on the Prairie" and Love American Style. Her uncle Phillip M. Jefferies was nominated for an Oscar as art director for Tom Sawyer and was the art director for numerous films and television programs including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Cowboys, Manchurian Candidate, Sometimes a Great Notion, and many more. Her uncle Jack Jefferies was the production designer for McClintock and other TV series.
She is widely traveled and her art reflects many of the places she visited or lived. Her Africa series of exquisite watercolors depicts native Africans and native African animal life. Her "Jat Woman" from Romania and her "Bejeweled Moroccan Woman" with elaborate detail are outstanding pieces. Her Rocky Mountain Colorado past spurred her interest in and love for Native Americans. 'The Encounter", which depicts a Native American on one side of a fence and a cowboy on the other - two worlds colliding - is pregnant with symbolism and history.
Jessica is a winner in every creative thing she does. First prize in Jefferson County (JeffCo) muffin contest. Frist prize in the "Stars of Tomorrow'. First and third prizes in a Mississippi Cattlewoman's Beef Cookoff Contest. Two published recipes in Good Morning America's Cut-the-Calories Cookbook. Recipe endorsement in Better Homes and Gardens for Corned Beef Pie. Cash prize from Better Homes and Gardens for garden journal idea.
Her creative talents extend to music as well as art. She wrote all the music and some of the lyrics for all five of the original JKRose Undiscovered Gold albums (86 songs).
Her current project is what she calls "The Barefoot Series". To date eight 36X36 oil on canvas paintings by GicaArt. With an emphasis of barefoot couples working and reacting together. Expressionist style in the sense of portraying motion and emotion. Vibrant. Brilliant. Sensitive.
Her life itself is a work of art (not for sale however); and she would tell you that her greatest work and most beautiful artistic creation is her marriage to her husband, Joseph. The art which emanates from her is nothing less than an outpouring of love. With every stitch of a quilt, with every stroke of her brush, indeed, with every breath she takes, art pours forth in a spectacular array of beauty and grace. As suggested, all of her art is not for sale; but those pieces that she does make available will provide the collector/owner with the promise of decades and perhaps even centuries of that love and beauty.
By way of a resume, I can say that as a child and as a girl, I took every opportunity to learn. From art classes in grammar school to high school, whenever the opportunity arose to join a class where art was being taught, I was there. The ONLY courses I truly loved were those; and they taught me much, mastering the concepts of visual arts, of lines, visual or implied, of space, positive and negative, of shape, static and dynamic, of form and texture, real or implied, of darkness and light, tint and shade, and the application of color, its hues, intensities, values and temperatures.
As a woman I traveled and studied the masters very carefully. In Florence, I learned the importance of chiaroscuro, the application of contrasts of light and dark. I learned from renaissance painters how the human face has predictable dimensions and how to apply those to any face to achieve effective likenesses.
My travels have always been personal courses in art. From North, Central, and South America to many great European cities of Rome, Venice, Florence, Paris, Vienna, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Bruges, London, Berlin, and many others. From African and Arab nations, from the Pacific Islands to China. Japan, and Vietnam, I paid attention to all cultures, artists and art forms. My resume and my art is a conglomerate of all of these influences.
The beauty of art is that you have never learned it all, conquered it all, or understood it all. Each person takes small parts of the disciplines and applies them to their own particular technique, understanding, and expression. This is why my art is unique and special. This is why ALL art is unique and special. There is no definitive greatness. There are no plateaus of achievement or levels of expertise. From the primitive to the masters, art is in the eye of the beholder. What speaks to you is great art. Those in tune with their own likes and dislikes, with their own emotions and responses are true art critics. Those who attempt to apply any set of criteria to the work of others are not.
I do not create art pieces to sell. I create them because I can and because I love doing it. Many people have said to me, "That piece speaks to me in a particular way. I would love to have this in my home". When they say that, I am happy to sell it because I know they will take from it all the joy and care I have put into it, that they will share it with their friends and family, and that something I have accomplished will live on for ages to come. I know my hours of labor are worthy of a workman's wages and it pleases me that this order in life, of some creating and some enjoying the creations, brings balance and equalibrium in society, and evenly distributes the inspiration, talent and beauty as well as the appreciation, finances and support.
It is my opinion that an artist working under pressure to meet a deadline, to pay bills, or to get loads of work off his back because people are clamoring for his work, can never reach that creative plateau of peace, tranquility, and thoughtfulness necessary to instill feeling, love, and depth into his or her work. It is also my opinion that the ambition of artists who spend more time promoting and selling their work than actually working detracts from their ability to present the world with something truly unique which has been filtered through their own rich and wonderful set of senses, experiences, emotions, and lives. What I am saying is that there is a difference between commercializing and creating. To ALL of the wonderfully talented artists who aspire to greatness, I would just like to encourage you to reach deep to find that place in you where peace presides and where your work becomes merely play. Greatness WILL come if you let your own unique inner greatness out.