Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Jean Lightman did not pursue an artistic career until she moved to Boston following graduate school. It was there, after many classes and workshops, that she met Paul Ingbretson, a former student of R.H. Ives Gammell, who taught her painting techniques commonly used in the 19th century French Academy. Lightman trained formally with Ingbretson for nearly ten years, mastering her skills.
Working on her own since 1992, Lightman has exhibited at prominent galleries in Massachusetts and New York. She holds a Distinguished Artist membership at the Concord Art Association and a Copley Artist standing at the Copley Society of Boston. Lightman was elected a member of the prestigious Guild of Boston Artists, where she currently serves on the Board of Managers and has also been recipient of the Guild's R.H. Ives Gammell Award and the Edmund Tarbell Award.