The Wilderness Diary
Jessica Farrell

November 6–14, 2021
On view during Open Hours, Bushel programs, by chance, and by appointment
(for appointments, email

Open Hours:
Saturdays and Sundays, Nov 6–7, Nov 13–14, 11 am to 1 pm

Online Panel Discussion:
Tues, Nov 9, 7:00–8:00 pm
Mental Health: Perspectives on Care, Support & Recovery

Bushel is pleased to present The Wilderness Diary, an arresting series of nine portrait paintings by Sidney Center artist and mental health advocate Jessica Farrell. The subjects of Farrell’s paintings have all experienced a mental health struggle; many of them are peer recovery specialists she has worked with in the community. Farrell pairs each person, pictured in their adolescence, with an animal companion as both protector and predictor. The Catskills Mountains and their ever-changing skies serve as a stirring and sometimes foreboding backdrop mirroring the emotional and physical isolation that Farrell’s subjects have revealed in their personal writings.

The Wilderness Diary consists of nine portrait paintings, a book, and an audio piece inspired by the writings of Farrell’s Aunt Barbara who struggled with bipolar disorder. The project in its entirety will be on view during this short-run exhibition at Bushel.

Jessica Farrell is a painter who grew up in southern Indiana, studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and currently resides in Delaware County, NY. Her paintings explore the vast landscape, verdant forests, abundant wildlife, and the people who live in her community. As a mental health advocate, Farrell is interested in themes that speak to the power and fragility of the human condition and provoke public discourse.

Image: Jessica Farrell, Barbara & Fox, 2019, 25 x 20 inches, acrylic on wood.