|Kent Jones, professor of visual
arts at Grenfell College, stands beside two of his latest
By Pamela Gill
“It’s about the journey, not the destination.”
That’s how professor and visual artist Kent Jones sums
up his vision of the visual arts, whether it be in a gallery,
or a classroom. This is a notion that has permeated Mr. Jones’
teachings and artwork for the last 30 years.
“I like to think that my teaching parallels my artwork,”
said Mr. Jones, sitting at his kitchen table in Corner Brook.
Just around the corner, his art studio is filled with one
of his latest efforts – a series of near-life-sized
portraits. Accompanying the larger portraits are smaller,
symbolic paintings and drawings based on “character
roles and traits” which we all possess.
“It will be an interactive exhibition, where viewers
will be invited to move the symbolic portraits and match them
with the larger paintings,” he explained.
Over the last year or so, Mr. Jones’ journey has been
a hectic, yet rewarding one. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
has acquired more than 50 of his paintings and prints. The
Glenbow Museum in Calgary has requested 17 of his works for
its permanent collection and 11 more which were produced by
Canadian artists who worked with Mr. Jones as a Master Printer
in the early ’80s. Four of his original etchings of
California Missions were purchased by Daniel Fine Art of Laguna
Beach, California, and are being reproduced as 1600 high-end
giclée prints for installation in the new Ritz Carlton
Hotel being constructed in Dana Point, California. And in
addition to the exhibition of portraits, his Boxers exhibition
will be shown twice in Northern Ireland in the fall, and yet
another exhibition of idea-based, individually thematic works
will also be shown in Ireland at the same time.
A fourth exhibition of Newfoundland and Labrador youth athletes
will be shown in August during the 2004 Newfoundland and Labrador
Summer games in Marystown – the main cultural event
for the Games – and later tour the province’s
Arts and Culture Centres.
Boxers, youth athletes, the human psyche – a theme in
his work. Why?
He explains that, over the years, he has developed two distinctive
bodies of artwork.
“In one, my paintings, prints and drawings combine abstraction,
representation, shimmering surfaces and subtle colour to explore
many levels of a theme or an idea in each individual artwork,”
The other side of his work delves into the dynamics of various
“These works are as much public art projects as they
are series of portraits,” said Mr. Jones.