Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Post 3: Lois Mailou Jones

Who is Lois Jones you might ask, is she just another painter? Is she just another all around awesome artist whose life reflects triumph over adversity? I would say no because she is much more than that. She was an educator among her many talents. She graduated from Boston’s very own School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She has taught at Palmer Memorial Institute and was then later in life pursued to join the art department at Howard University located in Washington, D.C.

While Jones was a successful and influential artist of her time she did overcome many things that African Americans were facing at the time. This fact alone is impressive but more so for her being a woman and pursuing the arts. Despite these challenges, “from 1930-77 Jones trained several generations of African American artist, including David Driskell, Alma Thomas, Elizabeth Catlett, and Sylvia Snowden” ("National”).

Lois Mailou Jones was not just a painter but a textile designer, in her earlier years. Her travels to Paris and Haiti served as a source of inspiration to her. She was decorated by the Haitian government and in her painting “Water Carriers, Haiti 1985” her love of her husband's homeland is obvious. Many of her other paintings were influenced by this same love and aided in her success as an artist. She immortalized aspects of Haitian culture and history in her works forever marking her contribution in the arts.

Water Carriers, Haiti 1985

As a painter Jones work reflected many changes, not only in her life but her exposure to styles and different places. Her paintings slowly moved from watercolor sketches and landscapes, influenced by her trips to France, to brighter colored and bolder paintings. Her work also began to reflect more of her own style than previous paintings as she began expressing herself. The last transition her work saw was to an abstract way of painting, showcasing the African influences she had been exposed to.

Through all of her journeys, travels and tribulations Lois Mailou Jones managed to separate herself from the crowd and make her own spot in history. Accompanying this success she has helped as pave the way for other aspiring female artists. Showing not only her craft as a painter skilled in one area but a true artist with abilities honed in different techniques.

"National Museum of Women in the Arts." Lois Mailou Jones. National Museum of Woman in the Arts, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

"Lois Mailou Jones (American Painter and Educator)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.

"Lois M. Jones's Art Reflects African Traditions, Many Styles." The Black Box. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.

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