Main Idea

Learn more and apply for our Resident Teaching Artist Program here!

Jennessa Burks

Resident Lead Mural Artist

As Main IDEA’s Resident Lead Mural Artist, Jennessa Burks works directly with neighborhood youth to co-design and co-paint public wall murals in the city, facilitating hands-on learning opportunities for youth to learn directly from working artists and take agency and ownership of their community by sharing their voice and making their artistic mark in public spaces. Learn more about Main IDEA’s youth mural program HERE.
Jennessa is an educator, activist, mentor, and self taught artist based in Central Massachusetts. She earned her Bachelor’s from Worcester State University in 2015 and later her Master’s from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2019. Art is a passion she uses to express her emotion and amplify not only her voice, but the unheard voices of her communities. While her works include mixed mediums she works primarily in acrylic to create art pieces intended to capture the beauty, strength, and resilience of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). Too often Black and brown folx are missing from art spaces; Their stories and truths selectively muted throughout history. With her creations Jennessa aspires to bring joy to others who may experience the void of being unseen while bringing awareness to those who hold the privilege and fulfillment of being seen. View more of Jennessa’s work HERE.

Mark Parella

Resident Visual Art Teacher

Mark is a Worcester native who studies Elementary Education and Visual Art at Worcester State University. He discovered his love for teaching after interning as a youth art teacher for Main IDEA in 2018. Since then, he has dedicated his time to further develop both his visual art and education skills in order to best support the next generation of future artists.