Jessica Ford grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, the third of her parents’ nine children. In 2007, she earned an Honors BFA with a focus in Painting from Ball State University. Jessica worked as an artist and graphic designer for 3 years, procuring grant funds, showing work in Indiana and Washington, DC, and designing nationally distributed commercial products. Through these experiences, she became steadily more fascinated by the valuable role art and artifacts play in the evolution of a culture. When art conservation was introduced to her in a happenstance meeting with a conservator, she immediately changed course to pursue a career in the field, completing general and organic chemistry courses at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI) and taking upper-level art history courses at Herron School of Art and Design. During her year-long internship working under Richard McCoy at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), Jessica had such opportunities as treating a Donald Judd work, preparing Thornton Dial’s assemblage artworks for exhibition, writing the museum’s first comprehensive report about its Newfields collection, and caring for the IMA’s diverse outdoor sculpture collection through treatments and online advocacy. She also performed treatments for several artworks at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.
First-year summer work project: San Francisco Maritime Museum and Doris Duke’s Shangri La
Second-year summer work project: Dallas Museum of Art
Third-year internship: Smithsonian American Art Museum
2014-2016 Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Paintings Conservation, Brooklyn Museum