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Janiva Ellis: Expressions through Caricature and Cartooning

Using artist Janiva Ellis’s painting Prescribed Ambush (2018) from ICA Miami’s collection as a starting point, Teaching Assistant Jessica Helsinger guides students through the process of exploring media through cartoons and animations.

About the Artist

Janiva Ellis (b. 1987, Oakland, California) received a BFA from California College of the Arts, Oakland, in 2012. Ellis’s work comprises bright and playful imagery that examines our early exposure to media using caricatures and bold facial expressions. This relationship between the figure and the caricature is a comment on black identity in media, exploitation, and trauma.

About the Educator

Jessica Helsinger is a Teaching Assistant for ICA Miami’s Narratives program. Born in Rockford, IL and currently based in Miami, FL, she began her art career at the Art Institutes, Miami International University of Art & Design in 2004, graduating with a BFA in Fine Arts. Jessica works on personal projects involving social justice issues, such as juvenile justice and arts education for incarcerated youth.

Reading and Viewing List

Installation Views

Janiva Ellis, Image of Prescribed Ambush (2018), a painting by the artist
Janiva Ellis, Prescribed Ambush, 2018. Oil on canvas. Collection of Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Museum Purchase with funds provided by the Simkins Family.