Jessie is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural events coordinator born and raised in the East Vancouver neighbourhood of Strathcona. With her curatorial projects, collage work, book media and miniature sculptures, she addresses the concept of place and how we humans experience it by acknowledging themes of collective and personal memory, language, landscape and value with an emphasis on cultural history and identity. McNeil holds a BFA from Emily Carr University, has exhibited locally and most recently, completed a two month artist residency project at the Estonian Printing Museum in Tartu, Estonia.
With the help of the DTES Small Arts Grants Project, she will be able to realize her next series of figurative collage work. The series represents the evolving neighborhoods of Strathcona, Commercial Drive and Chinatown. Having grown up in these communities, the artist has a strong connection to the people and places that make up these neighborhoods. She hopes that through the people she represents in her collages, McNeil can help her viewers re-examine what makes these communities special, and worth supporting and preserving.