Jessie Gutzmer is an Asian-American and Native Mexican artist born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. Ms. Gutzmer is a survivor, who has found a way to heal from within by channeling art and activism. We fell in love with her work and are thrilled to share selections from her growing portfolio. We had the honor of connecting with Jessie to learn more about her background as an artist and how her trauma was a driving force in becoming an all around inspiring human being.
“As a child I have always naturally gravitated towards art. Around the age of ten I would stay up late drawing different character illustrations from various manga and anime. Around the same time I really started to dive into drawing and painting as a coping mechanism from the sexual assault I experienced throughout my childhood. It was the only outlet I had where I felt heard and could voice my thoughts without judgement. Around the age of thirteen I transitioned to a new school, where I experienced various forms of racism and prejudice. My experiences and lack of acceptance made my journey to healing much more challenging. All I really had was art. It was my safe place where I didn’t have to hide. As a result I isolated myself and really focused on creating art and learning everything I possibly could.
I decided to leave high school and attend college early. Coming from Asian culture your family wants you to focus on higher paying jobs such as the professions of a doctor or a lawyer. I ultimately went against the grain and pursued art anyways. During my experience I was able to study under some of the most amazing artists from Las Vegas. Artists who didn’t mind my ravenous appetite for knowledge and pushed me to believe in myself. In turn this ultimately pushed me to not only be an artist but to also become an educator. I wanted to become a mentor to a group of individuals who need that mentorship the most. I wanted to be the foundation for students and change what I never had growing up. I graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the Fall of 2019 with my Secondary Art Education B.S.
Even though I decided that my day job would be in education, I never gave up on my dream to be an artist as well.
One of the most amazing things I have learned throughout my journey was how to tell stories and evoke colors through the use of illustration and color. I never really could put my trauma into physical words so I would create my own illustrations to share my experiences.
Whenever creating a piece for someone else I also ask them to share their own story with me so I can incorporate that into my work. I make these pieces not only to advocate for topics such as sexual assault, racism, and the LGTBQAI+ community but I also create these pieces in hopes that it connects with just one person. To allow other people a safe place and comfort in knowing they are not alone in their experiences.
Recently, I have been so fortunate to receive commissions and start showing my art locally. I have been able to show in places such as the Golden Fog Coffee located in the arts district. I will also be participating in a pop up event with the Saturation Gallery this on April 18, 2021 in the Las Vegas Arts District, sponsored by 18b.”
Support Jessie and her beautiful talent! Now accepting commissions.