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Invisible by Jessie Novik, Oil on Canvas, 18x24
Solo Exhibition 
May 22-27, 2023
Opening Reception
Thursday, May 25, 6:00 - 9:00pm
Meet the Artist at Opening Reception
Artist Talk at 8:00pm 

Dacia Gallery proudly presents “Natural Armor" a recent works Solo Exhibition by Jessie Novik.

Depicting women as naturally armored animal hybrids, my current series validates certain ego defenses that women are commonly criticized for exercising. Each portrait illustrates an archetypal narrative speaking to the necessity of specific female protections. Where terms like “having walls” or “being guarded” are often deployed pejoratively within social contexts, Natural Armor reveals the beauty behind the buffer, acknowledging the unique origins and critical vitality of each defense. Women such as myself are frequently urged to let down their guard and open up to forces that may or may not be damaging to their stasis or sense of self. We often internalize these demands as personal issues that scar our existence. Whether helpful or harmful, necessary or excessive, armor evolves in reaction to specific circumstances. I urge women to honor their armor and decide for themselves when and where to take it off, without shame, pressure or scrutiny from others.

Jessie Novik is a Brooklyn-based fine art painter and muralist working within the tradition of imaginative realism. She received her BFA from Alfred University (2009) where she studied painting and sculpture, and her masters in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute (2014). Previously splitting her professional focus between painting and art therapy, she currently works as a Scenic Artist (local829) and decorative painter in addition to her work as a muralist and fine artist. She has worked for Disney creating custom background portraits as well as several other TV and film productions. In her personal work, Jessie blends classical technique with surreal ideation. She filters objects, figures and landscapes from her environment through her rich imagination, composing scenes that are socially relevant and personally evocative. Although she prefers traditional methods of oil painting, she is trained and experienced in a variety of mediums and techniques. She has exhibited work nationally and regularly paints murals throughout New York. Notable mural sites include: Mt. Sinai Children's Hospital, NY Health+Hospitals, 72+Sunny, Harlem RBI, Manhattan College, NYC Family Court, and many more. Additionally, she has taught graduate-level courses on mural painting and Art Therapy at Pratt Institute and regularly leads community mural projects with various organizations. Jessie loves engaging with the public to create large-scale, meaningful works of art. Besides making art and fostering creative development in others, Jessie has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a third degree black belt in Karate. She teaches self-defense to adults and children. Jessie is passionate about teaching practical skills and feels strongly that both art and martial arts uphold an infinite capacity for healing.

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