Local D.C. Artists Celebrate Mary W. Jackson's Legacy

On June 24, 2020, NASA announced the agency’s headquarters building in Washington, D.C., was to be named after Mary W. Jackson to celebrate her life and legacy. We collaborated with Events DC to create artwork inspired by Jackson’s story as the agency’s first Black female engineer.

Take a look at how six local female artists interpreted Jackson’s place in history through their individual creative lenses.

1. Trap Bob

Image by Sharmeeyn♡Kefee
“To see Mary [W.] Jackson be so successful and to get the recognition that she deserves, it hits home for me in a couple ways.”

Tenbeete Solomon AKA Trap Bob is a visual artist, illustrator, and animator based in Washington, D.C.

“Art is so important across the board because it’s really a form of documentation,” says Trap Bob. “It’s creating a form of a history… that’s coming from the true essence of what people feel in the communities.”

2. Jamilla Okubo

Image by Sharmeeyn♡Kefee
“People can relate to things that may seem foreign to them through imagery.”

Jamilla Okubo is an interdisciplinary artist exploring the intricacies of belonging to an American, Kenyan, and Trinidadian identity.

“I wanted to create a piece that represented and celebrated and honored Mary [W.] Jackson, to remember the work that she did,” says Okubo.

3. Tracie Ching

Image by Sharmeeyn♡Kefee
“This is a figure who actually looks like us, represents us.”

Tracie Ching is an artist and self-taught illustrator working in Washington, D.C.

“The heroes and the figures that we had presented to us as kids didn’t ever look like me or my friends or the vast majority of the people around me,” says Ching.

4. Jennifer White-Johnson

Image by Sharmeeyn♡Kefee
"To be even a Black artist making artwork about space — it’s because of her triumphs and her legacy that she left behind.”

Jennifer White-Johnson is an Afro-Latina, disabled designer, educator, and activist whose work explores the intersection of content and caregiving with an emphasis on redesigning ableist visual culture.

“My piece is… a take on autistic joy because my son is autistic," says White-Johnson. "And I really just wanted to show him… in a space where we often don’t see Black disabled kids being amplified.”

5. Kimchi Juice

Image by Sharmeeyn♡Kefee
“In my art, I try to highlight really strong and empowering women."

Julia Chon, better known by her moniker “Kimchi Juice,” is a Washington, D.C.-based artist and muralist.

“As minority women, we are too often overlooked and under recognized for the work and time that we give," says Kimchi Juice. "And so to see Mary W. Jackson finally being given this recognition is fulfilling to me.”

“I wanted when one listens to it, to feel like there is no limit.”

“When you look back at history… art is the color or the sound in the emotions that encapsulated the moment,” says OG Lullabies. “It’s the real human experience that happens as time passes.”

XxSharmeeyn 💋