williams-jJennifer Williams served in Ghana from 2005-2007 where she taught visual art and vocational calabash art at Wa School for the Deaf. There, besides teaching, she helped her school generate income for the art program through the sale of student artwork, and traveled around Ghana apprenticing herself to local craftspeople in order to learn how to properly teach the craft of calabash art, eventually putting together a manual on the subject. She also read lots and lots of books, shared quarters with two half-wild cats and a black widow spider (all poor housemates), joined a women’s group, and was taught the only correct way to eat a groundnut, cut grass, swallow fufu and sweep her room. She put down some of her observations in a series of paintings on gourds depicting Ghanaian women and girls, several of which have been displayed in juried shows in Virginia and New York. In the summer of 2008, she returned to Ghana and began a storybook project with a Ghanaian friend and fellow artist, a work in progress.

Jennifer holds a degree in fine art and English from Southern Adventist University in Tennessee, and an MFA in illustration from School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is currently working on several writing and illustration projects, teaching, and volunteering with the deaf community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Examples of her artwork can be seen on her website JenniferWilliams.org She also maintains a sketch blog hopSketchJump.blogspot.com