Show traces artist’s growth

Published 6:08 pm Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sandra Cherry Jones stands before one of her paintings. Jones’ paintings are on display through March in the adult-fiction room at Brown Library. (Submitted Photo/Sandra Cherry Jones)

Take a look at her work — colorful expanses of real scenes, real life.

In her bright paintings, there’s no indication she’s never had formal training. She was a natural before she got to a high-school art class in 1965. Sandra Cherry Jones is a self-taught artist.

“I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember,” Jones said.

Her retrospective, “Sandra Cherry Jones Then and Now,” is on display throughout March in the adult-fiction room at Brown Library. Encompassing 13 years’ worth of paintings, the show represents the natural progression an artist’s work takes over time.

“I feel like growth is important to an artist,” Jones said. “To look back on what you’ve done in the past, to see where you’re going in the future.”

Jones’s past includes selling her first piece to a local, prominent collector at the Beaufort County Arts Council’s 1999 Fine Arts Show. She entered two paintings that year and sold both. Since then, she’s regularly shown her work, and regularly sold it.

She’s as local as an artist can get, born in Washington, raised in Washington and, barring a brief stay in Virginia, has lived in the city all her life. After 32 years of employment with Stanadyne, she retired. Now, she works in acrylics, painting the rural life and lively portraits.

“I mostly enjoy painting people,” Jones said. “Painting people involved in some type of activity — gardening, fishing, like that.”

Over the many years, her work has been showcased in group shows at the Beaufort County Arts Council and solo shows at Brown Library.

“(They’ve) helped me get out there and show my work, not just my work, but other artists, local and regional,” Jones said. “I’m thankful to both those organizations.”

Brown Library hosted a public reception for Jones on March 4, revealing not just Jones’ collection, but that Jones isn’t the only artistic one in the family. During the reception, Jones’ daughter, Carlise Jones Carter, read excerpts of her poetry to the assembled crowd before the elder Jones answered questions from the audience.

“Then and Now” is open to the public. Individual works may be purchased by contacting Jones directly or through the library.