2010    BA    Mills College, Oakland, CA


California based artist Jessie Thatcher received her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Arts from Mills

College. During her studies, Jessie received the Dean’s Scholarship, Mills Scholarship, and the

Mills College Undergraduate Research Grant. Thatcher is a multimedia visual artist dealing with

various themes of communication and interference. In her practice, she addresses concepts

such as re-photography, camera deconstruction, pinhole photography, and the reinterpretation

of the photographic medium.


Group Exhibitions

2018 “The Fractured Gaze,” The Directed Art Modern, Miami, FL

2017 "With Liberty and Justice for Some," Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

2017 "SANCTUARY CITY: With Liberty and Justice for Some," San Francisco Art Commission Gallery, SF, CA 

2017 "With Liberty and Justice for Some," Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2016 "ROCK PAPER SCISSORS," DZINE Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2016  "#portrait," DZINE Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2015-2016  "Pattern Language," DZINE Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2010  "Divergence," Senior Exhibition, Mills College, CA


2019 The DAM Project

2018 ARTSY

2018 ARTNET, The Directed Art Modern, Miami, FL

2016 The Old New Way-This life. This world. "ART: PHOTOGRAPHY,"

2014  Forage Press, Visual Interpretation of Sound Project, "Submerged.":

2013  Submit for RIff, "Submission No.33," Berkeley, CA

2012  Sprocketbox Entertainment, "Face Figure Identity," Chicago, IL

2012  Submit for Riff, "Submission No. 12," Berkeley, CA2011  Ambush Review 2, San Francisco, CA

2011  Positive Magazine, "Close Series," London, UK :

Awards & Grants

2008  Dean's Scholarhip, Mills College, Oakland, CA

2008  Mills College Scholarship, Mills College, Oakland, CA

2009  Yale Norfolk Summer School, Nominee, Norfolk, CT

2010  UROP Grant- Mills College Undergraduate Research Opportunity Grant, Mills College, Oakland, CA

Artists' Groups

2016  Mills College Artists' Network, Oakland, CA 







2016 January, Artists in Conversation, Pattern Language, DZINE, SF

MARCH 30, 2016

The New Old Way: Tom Clyde, Berkeley, CA

Notes on Our Eleventh Meeting on March 30, 2016 — ART: PHOTOGRAPHY


Jessie Thatcher’s Photography

Jessie is an artist friend (whom I met through Miriam Dym and our shared project, Submit for Riff).

Jessie’s work explores how we see and organize the world visually. She presses against the limits of our narrow primate vision, bending forms, breaking habits, through photographs, drawings, collage.

She took the time to answer the questions I posed when I introduced this topic in Reading for Our Eleventh Meeting on March 30, 2016 — ART: PHOTOGRAPHY.

Here is what she said:


Can art function as a “religion,” as some people claim?

When I think of religion, I think of rule following and when I think of art, I think of rule breaking. But, there is an implied set of aesthetic rules when making art and an artistic practice could be considered a religious one. I just don’t know…it depends on what your perception of religion is and how you view art. I’m not a religious person, but I guess I do find a type of spirituality in making art and viewing art. I think of art as more of a conversation than a preaching device. Those who want to join into the conversation, that’s welcomed, and it’s also fine if people don’t.

Can a painting, a song, a sculpture, a performance, even a photograph, give us meaning?

Yes, I think so. When I think of the word “meaning” applied to art, I translate the word to “heightened experience.”

As an artist I am constantly asking myself why did I choose this lifestyle, why couldn’t I have chosen a more practical occupation? Is art important?

Through experience we can answer these questions. For instance, the answer to my questions about the meaning of art took an act of walking into a real estate office. I walked into this completely deserted office and developed this strong reaction to this isolated room in space, shocked by its one- dimensionality; the beige walls mix into the brown floors, completely devoid of art, family pictures poorly hung and cheaply printed, there was no aesthetic reflection in this office, unless it was a fascist one. This beige- khaki pants office was the answer to me, this little office was an isolated representation to me of what the world might look like if there wasn’t any art, and it was awful. It was boring and stagnant. I realized then and there that I might not make much money being an artist, but I do live a visually rich life, and to me that adds so much meaning. And by visually rich, I mean, I am actively looking all the time, whether I’m making art, or working a menial job, I am constantly observing and arranging.

What do representations of the natural world do for our particular species of primate, homo sapians?

We are programed to scan our environments very quickly. Just try and focus on one object for more than a second, it’s very hard. Our eye movements are programed to scan quickly and we don’t focus in one area for very long. It’s a human glitch! So yes, I think we do need pictorial references– isolated documents of time–to slow us down, and look. I think the “meaning” or resonance comes along after the fact, it’s when you encounter whatever that artwork was referring to in your daily experience. I think artwork does add meaning to our lives.

Why do we seek them so avidly? Why do they fill us with longing? Make us shiver? Sometimes even change us forever?

I had a “shiver” response once! A couple years back, I visited an Agnes Martin exhibition and the gallery room was filled with all of her pastel line paintings and I got shivers. I’m not sure why I got shivers, but I strongly reacted to that work.

When I think about my process as an artist, it’s primarily a nonverbal process. So it makes sense to me that we have nonverbal reactions to some artworks.



MARCH 19, 2012

Edited by Matilde Casaglia, Art Editor –

Photos by Jessie Thatcher

Jessie Thatcher is a photographer with a passion for abstraction and complexity. Her artworks are the result of a compounded deconstruction which aims at a re-photography that creates movements and possibilities. The artist studied in California (Sierra College, UC Berkeley and Mills College), where she still lives.

Viewing the images of the Close Series invites and fascinates depicting and guessing what it is. The artist explains: “As a viewer, I want to struggle at what I am seeing. ” Her work is not focused on minimalism, she struggles to recreate a mixture of photography and abstract art in order to stress a minimal-perfectionist quality.

All of the images differ slightly in tone, as a result of the elaborate process which is intended to achieve complexity. Jessie Thatcher uses a particular technique to produce her artworks: scan, print, grid, dissect, arrange, scan, dissect, photograph, print. “In this process, I don’t color correct and I allow the camera to pick up whatever discoloration occurs at the time; there is a great level of chance at play.” The artist leaves the control to the discoloration, until when she has to arrange the imagery. At this point she has to put her hands on it. But she is not looking for corrections. “My photographic work is kind of a revolt against the traditional approaches to photography. This series is similar in response to the post-modernists in the 80’s about what is original?  In this series, I wanted to achieve a complexity at viewing an image and reproducing an image and allowing whatever imperfections take place during this process.”

The artist wants to make the viewers integrate and blend the role of memory in their daily intake imagery. She is asking us to look at an image in more complex terms.