The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center located at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus will display a unique series of acrylic portrait paintings by artist Wayson R. Jones. The show, Memory, Mostly Self, will be on display in the gallery from June 9 to July 30 with an opening reception scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 8.
Jones said he has used old snapshots of himself as a child to influence previous work. For Memory, Mostly Self, he wanted to combine the energy of his childhood image with archetypal images from popular magazines Ebony and Jet. The portrait images are created with a resistance technique in which acrylic gloss medium is used to “draw” on the paper surface. Powdered graphite is sprinkled on the still-wet medium and worked with a palette knife, scraping with the edge to create the facial image and using the flat blade to deposit the black ground. At times, other under drawing marks are laid down with pencil or ballpoint pen.
“Many of these portraits are based on my likeness in a family snapshot in which, at about age 7, I’m together with my older brother and several cousins.” Jones explained. “Other images channel male images from Ebony and Jet magazines of the 1960s. I want to fuse the energy of that childhood likeness and those archetypal images with a sense of the urgency and mystery that often inform my life now. The power of these figures lies, in part, in their emptiness. Rather than provide a home for facial features, the portraits are shells that evoke a sense of presence by enclosing energetic gestural marking and illusory space.”
Jones recently received the Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council Individual Artist Grant. He received a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Maryland College Park, studied drawing fundamentals and intermediate drawing at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and figure drawing at the Washington Studio School. In previous years, he has displayed his work in various solo and group shows in the D.C. metro area, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York and California.
The Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery is located on the second level of the Schlesinger Center. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and during concert hall events. For additional information about art shows and concert hall events, call the Schlesinger Center at 703.845.6156.
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