Hanging out with Jessica Newman at the MonDak Heritage Center was quite an uplifting experience. If you haven’t tried it, you should!
Melissa: Jessica, how long have you been interested in art?
Jessica: I’ve been doing arts and crafts since a very young age. I had a suitcase I would carry around with me that was just for crayons. It came Everywhere with me! The funny thing is that I didn’t get serious about art until high school. In my younger years, I played violin. My parents are both very musical, so it seemed natural that I would be, too.
Melissa: I understand you have called Sidney home for the last 4 years. What drew you to Montana?
Jessica: Well, after I got my Studio Art and Art History degree, I got adventurous and worked at the Musée Rodin and the École L'Étoile in Paris, France .I’d always wanted to work in a museum someday, but my true passion is making art available to EVERYONE. It means so much to me to be able to teach all ages about how to represent the beauty that is in their heart and mind by something they can make with their own hands. When I found myself back in the US, I put my resume out to lots of museums, and the MonDak Heritage Center was interested. I’d never heard of Sidney, Montana and there wasn’t much to be found on the internet about it. I guess I had a little bit of adventure left in me, because I got the job and I still love it here.
Melissa: Why do you feel it is important to support the Wine & Food Festival?
Jessica: The Foundation is so important because they support the MonDak Heritage Center and the Community by uplifting others in our own community and supporting our neighbors and friends.
Melissa: I am so impressed with your work. Why don’t we see more of it around?
Jessica: While I do love making art, I just want to be able to pass the love of art on to others. Occasionally, I will do a commissioned piece, but only when I have time to dedicate to it.
Melissa: If someone wanted to reach out to you and have a work of art done by you, how would they do that?
Jessica: My phone number is (804) 370-2906 or you can catch me on Facebook at schmendrickthemagician or insta at
Melissa: Thanks for showing me some of your beautiful pieces. And thank you for donating to this year’s Wine & Food Festival!