I’m incredibly nostalgic about my home state, despite the fact that I didn’t really enjoy growing up there. Something about leaving Virginia behind for college in New York made me appreciate all the things that drove me crazy when I was at home. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve grown to love (not all, but a lot of) the little things that make Virginia a wonderful place to call home. I feel that same nostalgia for states that have been important to me along the way, from Georgia and Oregon to beautiful California. I’ve always had plans to pay homage to these special places in the form of botanical tattoos (state flowers, trees, etc.) but this series from artist Jessica Dennis Bush is a great take on the idea of celebrating state pride.

Jessica’s project is called the50nifty and is dedicated to celebrating the places we all call home. Through encaustic paintings, Jessica is exploring all 50 states, inspired by her grandparents’ cross country RV trip during the 1970s. Their travel memorabilia lead Jessica to approach each painting as a mixed-media piece, highlighting state-specific collage materials. To launch the project, Jessica and her brother will be starting a Kickstarter campaign on September 7th, 2013 (I’ll update here and on the main blog when it’s live) and launched a website so people can keep in touch with, and support, the series. I think this is such a cool way to celebrate home states and all the memories attached to them, so I can’t wait to see it come to life. Thanks to Jessica for sharing this with us! xo, grace


  1. Love the name! Great idea. I moved away from Texas at 17 and haven’t really appreciated it’s beauty until now.

  2. abby says:

    Love this!! Her work is so detailed, it almost feels like “where’s waldo” as you discover all the fun parts of your state in each piece! Thanks for sharing! I am a fan!

  3. Bev Plett says:

    Yes, there’s something about home that never leaves us. What a fascinating project! I’m planning to visit Virginia for the first time this fall so am interested in everything I can find about this richly historic and beautiful state.

  4. Kacia says:

    so proud of you, Jess!!!!!!

  5. Kate Miley says:

    Beautiful work! I love the Indiana one!

  6. Heather says:

    The 50nifty is truly awesome. I’m a Tennessee gal myself and there is just something about being able to call it home that makes me warm and fuzzy. I had to spend a year up north and while I loved my time there, I constantly thought about how wonderful my home state is. I love mixed media and these pieces are gorgeous! Pinning.

  7. WOW what gorgeous artwork, I am seriously impressed!!

  8. Ashley Johnson says:

    So beautiful. I cannot wait to see how the entire project unfolds.

  9. sasha says:

    This is amazing! So cool!

  10. mahasitha says:

    Adorable work!
    The artist is very talented!


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