Jessica Newman's work focuses on urban landscapes, specifically abandoned and neglected architecture. Some of the themes explored in her paintings include gentrification, demolition through neglect, and adaptive reuse.
Newman’s work concentrates on her current city of San Diego. She is documenting the changing city, and by extension, the people living there. She researches the carefully chosen subject buildings, and photographs them at sunset, which is not only the most flattering of all natural light, but also a metaphor for architecture that is about to disappear. Acrylic paint on medium-large canvas allows the viewer to enter the painting and gain a sense of place. Her style is contemporary realism with a focus on pleasing color schemes that are often in opposition with the lonely and desolate subject matter.
The buildings are indicative of an earlier time of great wealth in the United States. As the economy shifts, people and buildings either change or are left behind.
Jessica Newman is a full-time professor at the Art Institute of California-San Diego, where she has been teaching for 12 years. She is also an internationally published author. Her textbook Perspective and Sketching for Designers has been published in both English and Chinese.