Artwork Selected for Magazine Cover

Artwork Selected for Magazine Cover
Posted on 02/24/2021
Fox43Jessica Matincheck

If she looks familiar to you it’s because Jessica Matincheck was recently featured as the artist for the 2020 MASD holiday card. Here she is again; excelling in her creative element.

Jessica's art displayJess began her interest in art as a student at Reid where she was featured as the Artist of the Month on several occasions and won a poster contest in 4th grade. As seen in her wall of art displayed in her home art studio, Jess specializes in female portraits. “I like the beauty of various skin tones, make-up, jewelry, hair, and fashion.” Her passion has caught the attention of several local organizations.

During the height of the coronavirus shutdown in the spring of 2020 when MAHS students were learning from home, high school art teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Strite, challenged her students to use the pandemic as inspiration for a specific art project. Student were instructed to create a social commentary piece with a strong visual statement about an aspect of COVID. Jess chose to honor healthcare workers with her version of the famous Rosie the Riveter painting. “I wanted to paint a prominent female figure because nurses were high risk and they are literally on the frontline and I wanted to incorporate both in one piece.” Jess’s version of Rosie is Mexican with coal black hair, dark eyes and brown skin; quite the opposite of the original Rosie. She is wearing a mask and gloves, and sporting a stethoscope. “I chose to make her Mexican because my grandmother is of Mexican descent on her father’s side. I also made her a nurse because of their importance during this struggling time. I sketched her out in about 25 to 30 minutes and painted her within two days.” The end result was a stunning acrylic painting showing the strength and courage of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The finished painting was added to Jess’s home art display but its journey was just beginning.

As an employee of Penn State Health, Jess’s mother, Lynn Matincheck, submitted the artwork to be considered for Penn State’s Viral Imaginations: COVID-19 Project. This online gallery archives “Pennsylvanians’ first-person, imaginative and artistic expressions made in response to their lived experience of the coronavirus pandemic.” Jess’s Modern-Day Rosie was selected to be included in the online gallery. But Rosie’s travels didn’t end there.

Jessica MatincheckNurses who work with Jess’s mother loved what the painting represented and expressed interest in purchasing t-shirts with the image on it. With the help of With Kidz in Mind, t-shirts are now being worn by nurses both locally and outside the area. Jess and her family made no profit off of the t-shirts or her art; nurses simply paid for the cost of the shirt. Modern-Day Rosie made it into a gallery and then on to a t-shirt but she wasn’t finished yet.

The editors of The State College Magazine in State College, PA were developing a story about the healing power of art. In their research, they came across Penn State’s Viral Imaginations Gallery and Jess’s unique Rosie caught their attention. They contacted Jess about using her artwork for another article they were developing which would archive memories of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did they want to use Jess’s artwork, it was selected for the front cover of the magazine!

Rosie traveled from Middletown to Hershey to State College and who knows how far she will venture with her t-shirt sales. What we do know is, this is not the last time we will celebrate the achievements of the very talented MAHS sophomore artist, Jessica Matincheck.

Jessica Matincheck
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