The Story of Glass: Jessica’s Journey
Sometimes, when things go unthinkably wrong, fate steps in, and, instead, creates something unimaginably right. Such is the case with the art of Jessica Joy Myers.
Always an artist, at first, her main focus was music. She’d often been first chair violinist in her school orchestras and also played with her ensemble, Strings in Motion, at the White House during the Clinton years.
Her family includes noted artists, Patricia Allingham Carlson, her aunt, and Claire Carlson, her grandmother. They were close and, of course, were her earliest influences, but while they were painters, Jessica made intricately beaded jewelry and sewed, mostly embroidery. She once duplicated the wellknown South Rose Window from the NotreDame Cathedral in Paris on a pair of jeans.
But in 2000, when she was nineteen, while coming home from playing pool in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, suddenly everything blew apart. Jessica was left crippled by a devastating car accident, her left femur severed and several other bones of her right leg smashed seemingly beyond repair. Some thought she might never walk again, others hoped for the best, that she would walk, but with a limp or a cane. Where before her dreams seemed well within her grasp, now it was just the opposite, the future was shattered and unknown.
There were months in a wheel chair and relearning to walk. Finally, in 2001, Jessica’s determination and artistic urge took over, propelling out of her brother’s house in central Philadelphia, where she’d been recovering at the time, and back into life. On her own again, still using a cane, but feeling the need to be challenged, she hobbled over to the University City Arts League in west Philadelphia and signed up for her first stained glass art class.
And the rest is history.
She was consumed by the medium immediately. Stained glass for her is a most expressive art form, with light adding a sort of tangible life to a design.
Jessica’s continued desire to heal holistically from her car accident combined naturally with her compelling desire to create stained glass art.
In 2002, good fortune visited again when she discovered and benefitted overwhelmingly from the healing properties of Bikram yoga. She attributes her ability to walk normally to her consistent practice of the famous “hot yoga” style. The effects of the yoga seemed no less than miraculous.
Over the next several years, her healing continued as did her development as a stained glass artist. She studied under several noted artists and, from 2003 through 2007, was a featured artist at the renowned Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York, where she was learning cutting edge healing methods needed for the spiritual, emotional and physical trauma from the car accident.
Eventually, after designing countless stained glass works, including panels for Bikram yoga studios around the country, notably four large windows based on Hindu stories, displayed in the Philadelphia studio, in 2008, Jessica decided to undertake the daunting nineweek Bikram yoga teacher training.
In the first week of training, she met and was asked by Bikram Choudhury, the creator of Bikram yoga, to design three large installations, also Hindubased images, for his Beverly Hills home, which were eventually completed in 2010.
She now lives in Los Angeles where she continues her work as an artist while simultaneously building her skill as a Bikram yoga teacher.
Currently employed at the Bikram Yoga Headquarters, she schedules teachers for the studio and assists at the front desk as well as teaching classes. She also teaches at Bikram Yoga Manhattan Beach as well as at other Bikram studios in surrounding cities.
Working with stained glass, for Jessica, provides a sense of the way things fall into place. Where, at first, her life seemed fragmented and could have been out of control, she now sees her devastating car accident as ultimately serendipitous.
It was unquestionably a heartbreaking and traumatic incident, but instead of sending her spiraling into hopelessness, it ignited a gutlevel determination and will to overcome adversity she may never have otherwise known. She believes an internal searching through the art helped her heal as much as her yoga practice and other holistic endeavors.
Honorable Mention Fine Art and Contemporary Craft
22nd annual Peddler’s Village 2006
- “I checked out your web site and was impressed by the quality and quantity of your work. Only 6 years, huh?”(stated May07) Boris Chasin presenter of the 2nd annual “Glass History, Why should we care” March 2007 at Glass Craft and Bead Expo Glassland
- “I like Diamond(var.#5)- this is classic Jessica Joy Myers– clean lines, good composition, simple statement.” Amina Eagle, art director of Omega Institute and painter
- “You have a very good design and it is so well balanced with your choices of complimentary colors” (speaking of the abstract design ‘Posh’) Kay Bain Weiner
**Quotes about the Philadelphia Bikram yoga studio commission :
- “It’s like the windows have always been there” -Sandy(Phila. Bikram instuctor)
- “The stained glass makes it heavenly” Emily Singhota Bikram Yoga on myfoxphilly
- “I have never seen such lovely, innovative stained glass as the pieces there. Awesome!” S. EnoyaBikram Yoga on myfoxphilly
Glass and Art
- Fundamental Traditional Glass Painting and Vitri-Fusaille certification with Peter McGrain Glass Painting USA at Cascadia Studio in Bingen, WA Oct.2007
- Soldering 101 with Pamela and Mark Wallace at The Las Vegas Glass Expo 2007
- Professional Artists: Traditional Glass Painting with Peter McGrain at The Las Vegas Glass Expo 2007
- Creative Glass Design with Kay Bain Weiner at The Las Vegas Glass Expo 2007
- Designer Decals with Tony Glander at The Las Vegas Glass Expo 2007
- Leo-AmeryVitrail at his studio in Dordogne Valley, France 2006
- Barbara Jack at Inspirations Stained Glass School 2006
- Visionary art Intensive with Alex and Allison Grey at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY 2002
- Patricia Allingham-Carlson in Warminster, PA 2001
- Trina Mansfield at University City Arts Legue, Philadelphia 2001
- Dayfid Allingham in Bucks County – 2002
Yoga and Health
- Bikram’s Yoga College of India Teacher Training 4/6/08-6/7/08 Acapulco, Mexico
- CPR training and AED cetification 3/2/08
- Kundalini Yoga workshop w/Gurmukh and Gurushabd at Yoga Flow in Tucson,AZ Feb 2008
- Dhyana yoga Kundalini Yoga teacher certification Jul-Oct 2007
- Bikram posture clinics with Craig Villani and Luke Meyer at Bikram College of Yoga Philadelphia Dec 2006
- Power to the Peaceful with Sharon Gannon and David Life (founders of Jivamukti yoga), and Michael Franti at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY June 2006
- Bikram posture clinics with Joel Pier at Bikram College of Yoga Philadelphia July 2006
See Joel’s YouTube video
- Psychic Sensitivity with John Holland at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY 2005
- Chakra Intensive with Anodea Judith at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY 2004
- Continuum Movement with Emile Conrad at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY 2003
- Buddist style meditation with Bhante Whimla at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY 2002
- Tom Schreiber & Yulka Plekhanova nillab web designers
- Deanna McGlaughlin, art and yoga, Deanna used to figure model with Darren F
- Scott Cranmer, art/drums
- Christopher T. Ray, metal sculpture
- Heather Henderson, music/performance
- Lisa and Christine, graphic design
- Lynn Smith Kline,kundalini yoga
- Earth Folk, organic products
- Elise McCutcheon, murals, yoga, jewelry, creative spirit