CINCINNATI - Cincinnati and the greater Tri-State region are home to people who excel in artistic and other creative disciplines. Each week, we’ll focus on a creative individual who is bringing new perspectives to our lives and enriching our cultural diversity.
Who: Jimi Jones
What: Visual artist, designer, and storyteller
Where: Carl Solway Gallery building, West End
Latest: “Mad Tea Party”
Greatest: “Face as Mask,” “The Last Supper,” “Why These Cultures” and “Smoke”
Found objects such as old doors, religious relics, white baby dolls, and empty potato chip bags are combined with sculptural and boldly colored painted forms. The art often blends African symbolism with African-American material culture.
The 2008 exhibition “Pixels” at The Weston Art Gallery was Jones’ first solo exhibition. He has since had solo exhibitions at the Harcum Art Gallery at Wilmington College and Springfield Art Museum in Springfield, Ohio .
This year Jones' work has been included in the “Inspiration” show at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center and the “Common Surprise” exhibit at Gallery Salveo in the Rookwood Tower. From March 28 through April 20, his work will be included in the juried show organized by The Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors in the High Street Gallery. Later this spring, his work will be shown in the Evendale Fine Arts Exhibit at the Evendale Cultrual Arts Center and the “SOS Art 2014” show at the Art Academy of Cincinnati .
Like many artists, Jones hesitates to describe any single work as his “greatest.” But he does regard certain paintings as benchmarks in his development as an artist, including “Face as Mask,” which he did in 1992; “The Last Supper” which was created in 1998; “Why These Cultures” which was completed in 2008; and “Smoke,” which was finished in 2013 (below).
When Jones gives talks about his art, he often brings along four books that illustrate how his work has progressed and been expressed with different themes: dualism, co-existence, neoancestralism, and pixels.
Jones retired from P&G about six years ago. And while he has a studio in his Forest Park home, he still likes coming downtown and “going to work.”
As he continues to work on the life studies and paintings that will shape his next book of art, Jones is clearly enjoying this phase of his life.
“I am so happy, because I dreamed about sitting in my own place and being able to paint whatever I want,” he said. One of the best parts of being an artist? “Your eyes are open to everything. We are influenced by everything we see.”
When he uses his art and his voice to tell powerful stories about contemporary culture, Jones is proudly carrying out the ancient traditions of his ancestors in Africa.
- CONNECT: JimJonesArt.com