Opening July 13, Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), on the campus of Southern Utah University (SUU), is thrilled to have a long awaited exhibition for the beloved southern Utah landscape artist, Find the Distance: A Jimmie F. Jones Retrospective
The exhibition will showcase works of art that expand the length of Jones’s life. Starting with grade school, his works of art will appear chronologically with pieces from high school, college, his Mexico period (1961-1975) and his landscape period (1976-2009). The artist’s growth from a portrait and figure painter who developed into a landscapist is illustrated to visitors through the arrangement of the pieces.
“Jimmie Jones literally grew up in the national parks of southern Utah and northern Arizona, but not until he started painting them in 1976 did he grow into a deep intimacy with the canyons and the plateaus of his native region,” said Jim Aton, author of the Jones biography, “The Art and Life of Jimmie Jones: Landscape Artist of the Canyon Country.” “His body of work stands as a testament to his profound love for his home landscape.”
This is the second retrospective showing in honor of Jones, the first being in the basement of the Brathwaite building on Southern Utah University’s campus in 1987 at the then Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery. Jones had originally planned for a second retrospective, but after completing a new painting to show how far he had come as an artist, the exhibition transformed into a showcase of his final 15 paintings, considered his best work. Recent Paintings was shown at the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery in the fall of 2009, closing just days before his passing.
“This museum is here in Cedar City, for all to enjoy, because of Jimmie Jones and his vision for the visual arts in our community,” said Jessica Kinsey, director/curator of SUMA. “Although the museum has significant holdings of his work in the permanent collection, they are often in collection storage to preserve them for future generations. This retrospective will not only offer works from the museum’s collection but also from private collections around the region.”
Along with Jones’s work, visitors will be able to view an installation of his Rockville, Utah studio desk and two portraits of Jones painted by his artist friends Earl Jones and Richard Hardin. The first portrait was painted towards the beginning of his career depicting Jones when he was younger, whereas the second was closer to his death in 2009.
More information about exhibition and current virtual programs can be found on SUMA’s website www.suu.edu/suma. Admission to visit the museum is free and open to the public thanks to our sponsors; Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Cedar City RAP Tax, Zions Bank and the Sam & Diane Stewart Family Foundation.