Paintings by Brenda Jones

Opening Reception Monday February 23, 5-7PM


Born and raised in Oklahoma, painter and teacher Brenda Jones explores figurative modernism through her black and female consciousness with tremendous beauty and complexity. Beginning her training in Oklahoma, she soon attended the Tyler School of Art in Rome, then completed her education at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. There, she studied with Jules Kirschenbaum — a New York City magical-realist figurative painter with a penchant for the Italian Renaissance.
While traveling on the 27th of May 2001, Brenda collapsed over the Atlantic with terminal liver failure and went into a coma.  She awoke on Memorial Day of 2001 with a new organ and a renewed life.  What does a figurative artist of Black, White and Indian descent do when they are reborn between Iowa and Italy?  Split down the middle of people, places and things, she learns to live all over again through the act of painting!
Brenda Jones has taught at the Iowa State University for the past three decades. Over the last twenty years, she has spent half of her time in Ames Iowa and half in Rome, one of the oldest and richest cultural centers of the Western World. 
The artists states: 
I have always created what I felt from what I saw and what I wanted. The essential influences on my art have been the living world around me, the tools of the studio, and the work of the artists who have caught my attention.  I’ve been caught most intensely by the Italians between Giotto and Tiepolo, while living in contemporary American modernism.  My modernism is figurative while my experience is both international and deeply internal.
I’ve also been inspired by the expressive-impressionism of Lucian Freud, thinking of art as a dialogue between what is pulsating, plastic and living around me and the flat surface, delineated and brushed across before me.   I don’t attempt to work out the story of what I see but paint it out —untranslated— onto the canvas or the paper. My work is more an attempt to learn what I am about than to explain it.