Studio Fellow: Jessica Valoris

I create sacred environments through mixed-media installation, sound collage, and ritual performance. Honoring the ancestral medicines that live in Black cultures and Black communities is at the heart of my work. I engage sound, textile, paint, wood, wire and repurposed materials to create portals. I employ history to help tell more complete stories of resilience and self-definition.

Inspired by the earth-based traditions of my Black and Jewish ancestors, I explore ideas through the lens of metaphysics, spirituality, and Afrofuturism. I build spaces that cultivate deep listening and personal reflection; and lift up a cosmology of liberation; complicating flattened histories of oppression, cultivating affirmative celebration and re-definition. In the face of racialized marginalization and erasure, my art is both balm and blueprint; mapping out pathways for the Black liberatory imagination and reviving recipes for collective care.

My process is iterative and emergent. I repurpose scraps, seeds, found objects, and items that hold cultural memory. I activate my listening through dance, playlists, zines, weaving, and doodling. I engage the communities I am a part of through story-circles, interviews, and intentional gatherings. I deeply value collaborating with community-based cultural workers and offer my practice as a resource for visionary well-being.

Jessica Valoris is a Washington DC based artist and community facilitator. Weaving together mixed media painting, sound collage, and ritual performance, Jessica creates sacred spaces that activate ancestral wisdom, personal reflection, and community care.

Inspired by the earth-based traditions of her Black American and Jewish ancestry, Jessica explores ideas through the lens of metaphysics, spirituality, and Afrofuturism. Using art as a catalyst for collective healing, Valoris affirms the joy and vitality of Black people, complicating flattened histories of oppression, and creating space for affirmative celebration and re-definition. Jessica values collaboration with community-based cultural workers and collectives, and her work supports culturally-relevant wellness and resilience.

Jessica Valoris is an alumna of the Public Interest Design Lab, Intercultural Leadership Institute and Halcyon Arts Lab. Iterations of her most recent body of work, Black Fugitive Folklore, have been shown at the Phillips Collection, The Kreeger Museum, Africana Film Festival, and Brentwood Arts Exchange. Her interactive installation, “Phone Home” debuted at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center in Austin, TX. Her interactive “Xigga Project” and “Dope and Different” portrait series  has been featured at Anacostia Arts Center, Culture Coffee Too, Afrotectopia NYC, and Harvard University’s Black in Design Conference. Jessica has been an ensemble  member of Body Ecology Performance Ensemble, and is a co-creator of the Colored Girls Hustle Hard Mixtape.