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Friday, August 23, 2013

NEWS: SUU's Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery Showcases The Early Art Of A Renowned Utah Artist in "Jim Jones: The San Blas Years"


Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah:  In the early 1960s, a fledging artist from Utah traveled to the small Mexican village of San Blas. While living there, he decided to capture its people and community on canvas. The results can be viewed in Jim Jones: The San Blas Years, a remarkable exhibition at SUU?s Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery which runs September 12 (opening at 7pm) through November 9, 2013. The Gallery is open Tuesday?Saturday, noon?7:00pm; admission is free.
Renowned for his vibrant canvases of the southern Utah and southwest landscape, Jim Jones lived in San Blas, on and off, for nine years. During this time, he immersed himself into the daily life and rituals of the village; thus beginning a remarkable period of depicting life in the colorful village. From a street scene capturing a youngster learning the guitar to a series of vivid portraits of local personages, these paintings showcase a rarely seen side of Jones? beginnings. A unique component of the exhibition includes displaying some of Jones? early landscapes which were strongly influenced by his time in Mexico. 
Curated by James M. Aton, SUU Professor of English and author of a forthcoming biography of Jim Jones, the exhibition features numerous works from the San Blas period, many of which are being loaned to the gallery from private collections and are on public display for the first time. Aton says, ?San Blas was Jimmie Jones? second home. When one looks at these paintings, it is obvious how much he loved the people and culture of this coastal village. Living there changed him as a person and as an artist.?   
Jim Jones: The San Blas Years is made possible by the Friends of the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery, as well as the generous support of Garth and Jerri Frehner, Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau and Rainbow Sign & Banner.
During this exhibition, there will be a number of associated events celebrating Latino art and culture as well as the art of Jim Jones. All of these associated events are free and the schedule and information can be found at www.edu/pva/artgallery. A Jim Jones: The San Blas Years catalog and special sets of San Blas note cards will be available for purchase in the gallery gift shop during the exhibition.
The legacy of Jim Jones will be permanently celebrated at Southern Utah University with the completion of Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts. This remarkable complex will include the Southern Utah Museum of Art which will house the Jim Jones Gallery, a permanent repository for Jones? art. Construction is expected to begin in March 2014.
The Friends of the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery is a non-profit group established in 1977, just one year after the Gallery was opened on the Southern Utah University campus. For nearly 35 years the Friends have helped enrich lives through their sponsorship of world-class exhibitions and outstanding arts education programs. Each year Friends'-supported exhibitions attract legions of art lovers from throughout the intermountain west. In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits exhibition saw a record number of attendees from throughout the region. Other Friends' supported exhibitions seen in recent years at the Braithwaite include Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos, Chihuly Baskets, Soviet Era Art: 1917-1991 and Everything in Between: Art Quilts, Fabric Collage & Embroidery. All of these exhibitions were free to the general public.
Explore a rarely seen period of one of Utah?s master artists by attending Jim Jones: The San Blas Years this autumn at SUU?s Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery. For more information about the Gallery or to sign up for the mailing list, please call the gallery at (435) 586-5432, or visit the gallery website at www.edu/pva/artgallery.
The Southern Utah University College of Performing and Visual Arts is comprised of nationally accredited departments of Art and Design, Music, Theatre Arts and Dance, as well as a graduate program in Arts Administration and a Center for Shakespeare Studies. The College offers 16 different degree areas, including liberal arts Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees; professional Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Fine Arts in art and theatre degrees; and a Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration degree. More than 60 full- and part-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 550 majors in the College. Over 1100 students enroll each year in over 195 arts classes on the SUU campus. The College presents 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year. The College?s affiliate organizations include the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery, American Folk Ballet, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the SUU Ballroom Dance Company. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, contact the Office of the Dean at (435) 865-8561, or by e-mail at cpvamktg@suu.edu.

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