Jessica Kaplan is a self-taught artist whose large-scale abstract expressionist paintings reflect her creative mind and emotions. Multi-layered and meticulously crafted, each of her works is unique. During her years of living in Los Angeles where she founded her own airbrush tanning company, the bodies of her celebrity clientele were her canvas. After returning to her roots in the Windy City, the Chicago native fell in love with a new passion: painting. Jessica has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a disease that permeates every aspect of her life. This illness not only causes extreme exhaustion but also chronic pain, giving her a short window of time in which she has the energy to function each day. Art is her one channel for release. The act of painting itself can be painful and brutal to her body—it often takes all her strength to create the dynamic images she does, going beyond the paintbrush and using anything she can from marbles to her bare hands—but despite this pain, Jessica’s resilience has shaped who she is and informed her art. All while ceaselessly battling and raising awareness for CFS, Jessica uses her art to bring brightness to others, showing that though her body may be hindered, her mind is boundless. Whether it’s through written repetitions of hopeful messages or splashes of vibrant color that shimmer in the light, in Jessica’s art, hope shines through.