Jessica James Gilbert was born and raised on a small ranch in the mountains of Colorado. Ever since she can remember she has been riding and drawing horses. She’s ridden both Western and English, but her inspiration and her love for the Western lifestyle started when she began helping on a local ranch moving cows to the high country. She has a natural way with horses, and her deep understanding led her to know how to paint the horse with a critical eye, seeing each horse for its individuality.
Jessica received the “June S. Kang Love of the Arts Scholarship” and the “Rotary Scholarship” to attend the University of Denver where she graduated with a BFA. She studied art in Florence, Italy her junior year, exploring different art forms firsthand. A year after graduating, in 2015 she was awarded the “Joe Beeler Scholarship” to attend the first CA workshop taught by Jim Norton and Grant Redden at the Scottsdale Artists’ School in Arizona.
Over the past few years Jessica has been featured and supported by galleries in Vail, Steamboat and Beaver Creek, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Recently Jessica married and lives in her home state of Colorado. She is painting full-time, working in her studio at home and creating a body of work influenced by the West. She uses oil paints to create a minimal, feminine touch in Western art, focusing on the horse and cowboy or cowgirl. She is always striving to learn, experiment, create and capture the modern-day cowboy. Jessica was featured in Art of the West, Southwest Art as one of the top “21 Under 31” young artists, and Western Art Collector named her one of the top emerging artists to watch. Her first year at Cowgirl Up! Art from the Other Half of the West show in Wickenburg, Arizona she received the “People’s Choice Award” and she is honored that this year will be her sixth year to attend the show.
At the young age of 29, Jessica has started a career that will last a lifetime. She is not afraid to stay the course and keep the passion, go beyond, take risks, or fail. She is not afraid to fly beyond and learn from those she admires, understanding that it’s a process and a journey, not a race.
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