Jessie Mackay "is recognized in the art world as an artist who can go to the most desirable tourist destinations in Europe -- to the impoverished heart of Africa -- and the ability and desire to capture the colors of both places, as well as the people, with a great deal of sympathy, is a welcome, valuable resource."

--William Zimmer, Contributing Art Critic, New York Times

Born to British parents in Washington, D.C., Jessie spent her early years mostly in England and Connecticut, and now travels the world seeking inspiration for her next series of paintings.

She attended Bay Path College for Women, Longmeadow, Massachusetts (A.S.); Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia (B.A. ), and did coursework at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland.  Jessie has a home in Pinehurst, North Carolina. 

For the past 6 years, Jessie has been travelling and holding art shows to raise funds and awareness for Karimu - a nonprofit created by Jessie and her dear friend, Tally Bandy, to aid the people of Tanzania. 

"The serious painting began when I was consulting – working in an auto plant with assembly line workers. The atmosphere was grim, and watching their bodies bending over their work was such an emotional experience for me that I started making drawings of them at night when my work was done, and then painting from the drawings back in my hotel room. The work I was doing was very exacting, data oriented – so the emotions would build up and find their outlet through painting."  -Jessie

What is Karimu?


KARIMU is an expressive and beautiful word in Kiswahili that means hospitality, benevolence, giving, generous, open-handed and neighborly.


KARIMU is a 501(c)(3), co-founded by Jessie Mackay and Tally Bandy, born out of a need to provide a safe place for donations from those who have heard their story and who want to do something to help at the grassroots’ level.  Karimu can help individuals or organizations that would like to be personally involved.  Perhaps you would like to go to Tanzania, a stunningly beautiful country, and volunteer yourself, or maybe your club, organization or church would like to sponsor or conduct a project.  We can make the connections for you with individuals in Tanzania, or if it is in your heart to contribute financially, no amount is too little.  One of Tally’s students had to beg for 5,000 Tanzanian shillings, less than $5.00 in order to take his sick child to the hospital.  Five month old Martin Nyemo died as a result of malaria for want of $5.00 for mosquito netting.  It is estimated that a child dies every thirty seconds in Africa, many from malaria, a disease that kills 3 1/2 to 5 million people annually.  People are not living on the edge of survival;  i they are dying by the millions for lack of food and lack of access to the most basic human needs.  Twenty dollars provides maize for a family for 4 to 6 weeks.  Karimu believes this and all inuustices of poverty deserve our attention.  

Follow Jessie & Tally's Journey on their blog: www.karimutanzania.com