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February 1999
Art Without Apology

By Jessica Dadds


My artwork is unapologetically didactic. It is about combining two things that I am passionate about: educating the public about the cruelty that exists in the meat, dairy and egg industries and exploring the creative process.

It is my desire to make my work inviting, so that people will approach it, and then allow them to discover at their own pace the serious context in which each subject is placed. I incorporate text into the pieces, either within the image or next to it, to explain this context and enable the viewer to interpret the work correctly.

I feel that charcoal is the perfect medium for the type of work I do, both technically—because I like working it with my hands and fingers—and aesthetically, because the dark tones fit the subjects I choose to focus on. It can be emotionally difficult depicting animals who are subjected to the horrors of modern farming practices, but if I can reach a person, it is worth it, and ultimately, rewarding. I feel that my artwork gives a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves.

Jessica Dadds received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1997. She is an administrative assistant at The Vegetarian Resource Group. You can contact her at


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