MIDL Gallery, Newton, IA Reception August 5, 2023, 5-7 pm
Works on paper
The first of four bus shelters that I designed for DART (Des Moines Area Regional Transit) was dedicated at a ceremony June 21, 2023.
My inspiration for this shelter artwork was a walk I took on the Avenues– Ingersoll from this intersection west to Polk Boulevard and then down to the Art Center and then east on Grand and eventually back here. I love this walk because there is so much variety in the landscape and the streetscape. What really interests me is the peoplescape, and that is why my shelters are. I draw people the way I do because each person I pass has their own little map of the universe in their heads and a whole opera’s worth of drama going on as well, and it is hardly realism.
I really like the fact that this is both a map and a window. It is two different ways of looking at this beautiful city. It makes me happy that Des Moines has gotten so much friendlier to pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders, which in turn is friendlier to the planet.
Prints and Drawings at Brush Gallery, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY
Paper Terrain: Prints and Drawings by Mary Jones March 6–April 12, 2023
I walk. I find the story in the walk. I consider the shape of the walk and how it shapes me, my memories and desires. Later on in the studio I map out the wilderness of that space on a paper terrain. By layering drawings, writing and ephemera gathered along the way I find my way to an image that coheres.
These are cartographic collages, yet the figure dominates. These people reveal the mood of my walks. They are both rambler and scribe, seeker and storyteller. Feelings are worn on their exteriors. I am interested in how the act of mapping out the space of a walk embodies the particularities of perspective – visual, cultural, and emotional. Describing a place tells us not only where but also who we are.
The Midwest is the place that figures most prominently in my work. The many cities I have lived in are all planned around a regular grid which I learned by walking and memorizing street names and, where they existed, public transportation routes. GPS is no substitute for this kind of wayfinding– dwelling as a body in a very particular space. Negotiating the paper terrain is much the same process. I keep looking, remembering, and arranging until I feel at home.
About the artist
Originally from Kane, Pennsylvania, Mary Jones built her career in Chicago. She has an MFA in Printmaking from Indiana University at Bloomington and a BFA in Art History from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is included in the permanent collections of the Linda Lee Alter Collection of Women in the Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and in the State Museum of Illinois. Jones has been an artist-in-residence at the Ragdale Foundation, Anchor Graphics, Chicago, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Foundation. She was named an Iowa Arts Council Fellow in 2019 and a notable artist in New American Paintings, Midwest Edition #134. She currently lives and works in Indianola, Iowa.
The Sacristy Gallery
Oct 21, 2022 to Nov 25, 2022
I walk. I find the story in the walk. I consider the shape of the walk and how it shapes me, my thinking, my socialness. And then I map out the wilderness of that space, layering drawings, writing and ephemera gathered along the way. These are cartographic collages, yet the figure dominates. Who are these people who embody the mood of my walks? They are both rambler and scribe, seeker and storyteller. Feelings are worn on their exteriors. I am interested in how the act of mapping out the space of a walk embodies the particularities of perspective – visual, cultural and emotional. Describing a place tells us not only where but also who we are.
'a language of holes' is a reading by Michaela Mullin (ASL interpreted), with an accompanying visual installation of the text by Mary Jones. This reading of prose poems will be active and interpretive, locating gaps, pauses, and not-so-empty 'empty' spaces. In this performance, oral and manual gestures will emerge to grasp at and grasp holes through sound, sight, sign, and--with Jones' typographical shape-shifting mobiles--design. Support provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a Division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Presentation June 11, 2022 at Moberg Gallery in Des Moines
For the third year, I've had work in this 15" and under show at Hofheimer Gallery in Chicago. I am honored to be in the company of these outstanding mostly Chicago artists!
THE MAP ROOM is an exhibit of Mary Jones' mixed-media maps and books based on walking, looking, and remembering. The artworks layer photos, drawings, writings, and gathered scraps in accordance with the mixed messages conveyed by the urban landscape. Most walks were solitary, taking place in Des Moines, Chicago, Urbana, and Galesburg, Illinois.
The exhibit includes collaged paintings on paper, panel, and raw canvas, as well as artists' books. A collaborative book with poet Michaela Mullin documents the journey of dementia through the experience of a caregiver.
Like most maps, the priorities of the mapmaker are evident. These works represent not where we are but who we are in a particular time and place.
First Friday Preview June 4, 5-7 pm
Reception June 18, 5-7 pm
The Map Room will be on view through July 23.
2411 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Or by appointment
Borzello Gallery, Knox College
February 23 – March 31, 2021
Mary Jones shows prints and mixed media paintings
including work produced during residency 2020
Artist interview available for the length of the exhibit
Pleased to be accepted into the upcoming Solar Impressions exhibit to be held at the Southampton Art Center in New York November and December 2019. I Walk Down Division Hot and Cool is one of the two pieces I will have in the show. Much as I love making solarplate intaglio prints, they are high stakes in terms of failed plates. Division is actually pieces of six different proofs collaged together. Printmaking taught me the art and attitude of repurposing. For that I am grateful. I am also grateful to Inspiration Plus for the flexibility in their entry requirements.
Coddiwompling means purposeful wandering, sometimes no place in particular. March and April 2019 find me in Milwaukee for a one-person show at Tory Folliard Gallery. the work on display includes 10 new pieces from 2019.