Jessica Kanonsontiso Loft is a Haudenosaunee (Mohawk) multidisciplinary artist based in Tiohti:ake on the Montreal South Shore. She graduated from Concordia University in 2010 with a Certificate in General Arts & Science. She has returned to obtain a BA in Fine Art (Painting & Drawing Studio Art). She creates mixed-media artworks that are connected to personal storytelling and politics, and she has her own unique whimsical style. She produces fine art paintings and illustrations, crafts, and artisan products that have Indigenous themes, but as you explore her works you will see that her imagination is limitless. Some of her works are rooted in culture and tradition; however, her style also is an expression of the world she grew up in on Turtle Island. She was a child born in the 70s, and grew up watching Jim Henson's Muppets. Other works delve into hard political Indigenous subjects. She has studied English Literature and other subjects. She has travelled overseas and is inspired by the cultures and landscapes as much as her own. She respects historical Indigenous art, but the concepts derived from her own timeline and experiences have shaped her artistic style. I have lived on Aboriginal Reservations and as an Urban Aboriginal. My artwork and products are self-expression.
She studied acting in Canada in the cities of Montreal and Toronto, Canada and in New York City in the United States of America. I am also the founder of Behind The Actors Mask & Sacred Roots Productions, Jessica produced, adapted and performed in the role of SISTER of Pig Girl originally written by Governor General Award Winning playwright Colleen Murphy. The mainly all indigenous cast added elements of indigenous culture through original native songs, ceremony, Mohawk language and costuming she created to raise awareness about human sex trafficking and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). I produced digital copyrighted works entitled "Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Lily of the Mohawks" (SKTLM) and "Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Winter Journey." The works were completed to create an ethnologically appropriate image for Saint Kateri Tekakwitha who died in the 1600s, using a Mohawk model as the subject. Both of the digital portraitures are used in the creation of a handmade line of Catholic souvenirs, handmade jewelry & chaplets and are sold at artisan and other events that I designed and handcrafted by herself. She continues to create striking artworks in a style all her own.