Jessica Langley is an artist currently based in Colorado



“No tree is an individual; all are communities of organisms changing throughout the life and death of a given tree. A tree is a microcosm of all the kingdoms of life. Know a single tree thoroughly and you know more about the life and evolution than any world traveler can ever hope to attain.” 

– Gary Lincoff

Using foraged materials, fresco, digital print, sculpture, and collage I explore hierarchical structures in order to de-center the human subject from the conversation around landscape, and I investigate how the inter-related dualities of abstraction/representation and the objective/subjective perspectives complicate this relationship. My work considers how cultural symbols of nature and certain representations of landscape are experienced both directly and through the mediated and sublimated image.

I think about the process of the foray, how the forager follows instincts and senses rather than a planned route. The collages combine paintings made using gouache, watercolor and ink on handmade paper from saprobic fungi which has been cast onto up-cycled scraps of polystyrene. The paintings reference networks, doodles, and systems – wandering and indeterminacy.

My interest in landscape and environment and how the totality of our actions amount to our present day climate crisis overlaps with my interest in mycology, the study of mushrooms. Both offer an excuse to pay closer attention to my surroundings when I am out foraging, exploring, or practicing a walking meditation, helping me to understand my role in an ecosystem. Mycology has opened my mind to the potential that role that fungi have in a climate solution, and through my art practice my goal is to develop sustainable practices while also developing an alternative narrative structure to the existential crisis felt so deeply due to climate change. I am interested in the precariousness of place and the adaptability of humanity in relation to environment.

The title of my most recent body of work, “Is–ness,” refers to the psychedelic experience of seeing the inter-connectedness and “intrinsic significance” of all things that Aldous Huxley described in Doors of Perception. When a mushroom forager tries to know a mushroom, she also winds up learning about the trees, the weather, the altitude of a place. She knows the smell, and what other animals may be lurking around. The mushroom forager begins to understand these relationships when wandering, and the psychedelic experience can exalt that feeling towards the spiritual, perhaps giving greater meaning to life itself. Saprobic fungi decompose matter and are essential to Earth’s ecosystems. There is new research in the field of Mycology, the study of mushrooms, that reveals more about the ecosystems beneath our feet, and the potential that mushrooms have to undo some of the environmental havoc of the Anthropocene.

In Timothy Morton’s pessimistic vision, he writes, “Hyperobjects have already had a significant impact on human social and psychic space. Hyperobjects are directly responsible for what I call the end of the world, rendering both denialism and apocalyptic environmentalism obsolete.” However,  I explore how the metaphorical relationship between handmade paper from foraged mushrooms and petroleum-based, “hyper objects” like polystyrene is suggestive of the potential mushrooms have to breakdown petroleum-based materials, offering a small symbol of hope, if not an antidote, in an otherwise hopeless climate crisis.


Jessica Langley (b. 1981, USA) is a multimedia artist. She has exhibited her work internationally, and has been an artist-in-residence in numerous programs including Skaftfell Center of Visual Art in Iceland, Askeaton Contemporary Art in Ireland, the SPACES World Artist Program in Cleveland, and the Digital Painting Atelier at OCAD-U in Toronto. She was a recipient of the J. William Fulbright Scholarship for research in Iceland, and earned her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008. She is an amateur mycologist, and her artwork and writing have been published in the New York Mycological Society Newsletter, New American Paintings, NPR, Hyperallergic, and Temporary Art Review.



Hymenophore, GoCA, UCCS, Colorado Springs, CO

Is-ness, Lump, Raleigh, NC

Janks Archive: Research Triangle, Lump, Raleigh, NC

By Cooling Shade, Hilsbach Kunst Kultur, Hilsbach, Germany

Stellar Cartography (with Matthew Northridge), los Ojos, Brooklyn, NY

Voids, STLCC Forest Park Gallery of Contemporary Art, St. Louis, MO

Harry Smith Was So Skinny… A Janks Archive, in collaboration with Jerstin Crosby and Ben Kinsley, Practice, Philadelphia, PA
Killin’ It, Skylab Gallery, Columbus, OH
Jessica Langley & Tree, House Show, Pgh, PA

Running Animal (with Mimi McCann), Mahan Gallery, Columbus, OH

Home Game, Cosign Projects, St. Louis, MO 
The Thirteenth Day (with Ben Kinsley), Skaftfell Arts Center, Seyjðisfjörður, Iceland

Campos De Color (with Rebecca Kaler), Kiosko Gallery, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Wilderness, Solo Show, Brew House Space 101, Pittsburgh, PA

Emerging In Summer Eyries, TAI+LEE Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

A Clumped Charm, Phillip J. Steele Gallery, Denver, CO
Not Even Human, Redline Contemporary Art Center, Denver, CO
Event Horizon, SPACE, Pittsburgh, PA
Blanket Statements, The Overlook, Chicago, IL

Sine Gallery: Berlin, Téte, Berlin, Germany
Other Nature, Lump, Raleigh, NC
Partial.download, Starlight Studio, Buffalo, NY

Object Trap, Spring/Break Art Show, New York, NY
Queens International, Queens Museum, Queens, NY 
Meddwl, The Parlour Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
Partial.png, Starlight Gallery, Buffalo, NY

Music Box, Gildar Gallery, Denver, CO

Pittsburgh Biennial, Miller Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA 
Janks Archive, Pittsburgh Biennial, Miller Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA 
Static Cling, Penelope Gallery, Queens, NY
Of Land & Local, Burlington City Arts, Burlington, VT
The Last Brucennial, Vito Schnabel and The Bruce High Quality Foundation present, New York, NY
Mixed Geometry, Survival Kit, Cleveland, OH

Relay Relay, Ortega y Gasset Projects, Queens, NY
Janks Archive: Helsinki, Kallio Kunsthalle Taidehalli, Helskink, Finland
Soft Blanket Slow Thaw, Skylab Gallery, Columbus, OH
The CATopian Dream, Acid Rain Productions, New York, NY 
iMotion, Delicious Spectacle, Washington D.C.

Curators & Artists, Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
Welcome To The Neighborhood, Askeaton Art Center, Askeaton, Ireland 
From the Mezzanine, Kresge Gallery, Ramapo College, Mawah, NJ

Make CATopia Real, SPACES Gallery, Cleveland, OH
Rustmelt, Fe Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
Worn Torn Wet & Wild, with Christi Birchfield, Parse Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Climate, Artprojx Cinema, SVA Theater, New York, NY
Spacelift, Wall Eye Gallery, Cleveland, OH

And Beyond, Parse Gallery, New Orleans, LA

Terra Non Firma, Front Room Gallery/ Legation, Cleveland, OH
For Lovers, Denise Bibro Gallery, New York, NY

Almost Famous, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA
Mixology I: Paintings and Works on Paper, Curator’s Office, Washington D.C.
Dream+Reality, About Glamour Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
The AWW, MFA Thesis Exhibition, Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA
Watershed, Nathan Larramendy Gallery, Ojai, CA

If I Remember Right, Front Room Gallery, Cleveland, OH
When We Go Swimming (Candidacy Show), Plant Zero, Richmond, VA
Don’t Fear the Future, Sweetness, Gallery Five, Richmond, VA
We and Us, Playspace, San Francisco, CA
Blueprints (In collaboration with Sebastiaan Bremer), Plant Zero, Richmond, Va

Run for your money, FAB Gallery, Richmond, VA
Homo Ludens: Yip Yap Yelp and Holler, Brew House Association, Pittsburgh, PA
Endlessforms, Work Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI

NEO+ONE, Murray Hill Galleries, Cleveland, OH
B.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH
CIA Graduates, E. Gordon Gallery, Cleveland, OH
59th Annual Student Independent Exhibition, Reinberger Galleries, Cleveland, OH (with jurors; Sue de Beer, Amy Jean Porter, and Dominic Nahas)

58th Annual Student Independent Exhibition, Reinberger Galleries, Cleveland, OH (with jurors: Patty Chang, Jeanne Dunning, and Charles LeDray)

Inside Out, Long Gallery, Newcastle University, England
57th Annual Student Independent Exhibition, Reinberger Galleries, Cleveland, OH (with jurors Nikki S. Lee, M. Sayyid, and Brad Brown)
The Grotesque, Doubting Thomas Gallery, Cleveland, OH

Platform Artist Residency, Vaasa, Finland
Digital Painting Atelier, Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, CA

Artist-in-Residency, Luminary Center for the Arts, St. Louis, MO

Artist-in-Residence, Skylab Gallery, Columbus, OH

SPACES World Artist Program, SPACES Gallery, Cleveland, OH

Regional Transit Authority Public Art Commission, Cleveland, OH

Skaftfell Arts Residency, Seyðisfjörðdur, Iceland

J. William Fulbright Scholarship, Iceland
Leifur Eiriksson Scholarship, Iceland
NES Artist Residency, Skagaströnd, Iceland
SÍM Artist Residency,Korpulfsstadir, Reykjavík, Iceland
SÍM Artist Residency,Seljavegur, Reykjavík, Iceland
Virginia Commonwealth Graduate Student Travel Grant, Ojai, CA

Virginia Commonwealth Graduate Student Travel Grant, Cleveland, OH
Virginia Commonwealth Graduate Student Travel Grant, Pittsburgh, PA

Virginia Commonwealth Graduate Student Travel Grant, Pittsburgh, PA

Wendy L. Moore Emerging Artist Series Finalist, MOCA, Cleveland, OH
Sue Wall Award for Excellence in Painting, 59th Annual Student Independent Exhibition, Cleveland, OH

Joseph McCullough Scholarship for Excellence in Painting, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH

Multicraft Award for Excellence in Painting, 58th Annual Student Independent Exhibition, Cleveland, OH
Albert Murray Scholarship for Excellence in the Arts, Cleveland, OH
Mary Seymour Brooks Award for Excellence in Paiting, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Institute of Art Renewable Portfolio Scholarship, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH

White Hot Magazine, “Blue Oyster Mushroom Cult: Jessica Langley’s Hymenophore”, 10 May 2022, by Sommer Browning
Hyperallergic, “Artists in Denver Invite You to Their Yards, Living Rooms, and Skating Rinks,” 2 Mar by Kealey Boyd
Rocky Mountain PBS, “Arts District: What’s in the Yard?” 16 Jan.
Westword, “Colorado Creatives: Ben Kinsley and Jessica Langley,” by Susan Froyd, 4 Nov.
Vogue Magazine, “The Place Where Mushrooms Get Their Own Parade,” by Ella Riley-Adams 12 Sept.
7mD, “Kiek turinių apima humoras?” (mention of Janks Archive) by Agnė Mackevičiūtė, 4 Sept.
Fox21, Living Local (feature on The Yard), 27 Aug.
Literatura ir Menas, “Aktyvusis simpoziumas,” (mentino of Janks Archive) op. 2 by Linas Bliškevičius, 6 Aug.
Cleveland Plain Dealer, “40th anniversary show at Spaces offers vital self-portrait of an essential arts institution,” April 21, 2018 by Steven Litt
Art F City, “The Artist-Centric Movement has its Milestone Moment: SPRING/BREAK,” March 7, 2016 by Paddy Johnson
Hyperallergic, “Spring/Break, a Sprawling Alternative Art Fair That Delivers,” March 3, 2016 by Jillian Steinhauer
Cleveland Scene, “RTA’s New Red Line Rapid Station Public Art,” March 2, 2015 by Josh Usmani
Pittsburgh Tribune, Art Review: Pittsburgh Biennial 2014″, October 1, 2014 by Kurt Shaw
Columbus Alive, “Profile: Skylab artist in residence Jessica Langley”, May 16, 2012
Beautiful Decay, April 5, 2012, by James Payne
Outpost Journal, Issue 1, Fall 2011
Pittsburgh Tribune, August 31, 2011
Locus Magazine, Issue 5
New American Paintings, Mid-Atlantic Region, Issue 75

MFA, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
BFA, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH