Jessi California

She /Her
Studio Director


A native of Sacramento, California, Jessi moved to Pittsburgh in 2020 to attend school for Mortuary Science. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, she was living in the Pacific Northwest, where she hiked, volunteered for historic societies, and ran a popular film club. “I loved the film festivals back home in Sac. Good, bad, I don’t care. I couldn’t get enough.”  Drawn to cemeteries by the artistry of historic stonework and the sense of shared connection with the past, Jessi found her artistic voice in grave-rubbing. “The key is respect. Cemeteries are for the living, and you have to keep the community at the forefront of your mind.”

She now uses the motifs and themes she finds in her own art, and regularly contributes art pieces to Sanctuary’s gallery shows. As the Studio Director, Jessi assists owner Susie Humphrey with scheduling tattoos, curating and coordinating gallery shows, and managing the vintage clothing and antiques boutique.

She will be graduating from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in September of 2022, and dreams of a career helping grieving families. She sees death as a natural part of life, one of the few universal experiences that we all share, and is eager and honored to begin her role as a deathworker in her community.

Her artwork can be found on IG @the.rended.veil

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