Profile: Marcia Jones (1972-

Marcia Jones is an American professor and contemporary artist, known for her multimedia and large-scale installation works.

Early life and education

Jones was born premature at Chicago’s Little Company of Mary Hospital to Paul Davis and Christine Jones. After moving many times with her mother, she spent her high school years in Los Angeles, CA at Marshall High School. Jones majored in Fashion Design at Clark Atlanta University where she later taught and moved to New York in 1995 after being inspired by artists like Radcliffe Bailey to pursue fine art. She studied under Juan Logan, Kojo Griffin, Susan Page and Cora Cohen at UNC Greensboro to earn her MFA in visual arts in 2004.

Career

Jones moved to New York in 1995 to pursue fashion design and worked for Harriette Cole before finding her calling as a fine artist. She was a kinetic (performance) painter, painting to live music on stage, with the Brooklyn Bohemian scene at venues such as the Brooklyn Moon Cafe that incubated the beginnings of careers such as Mos Def, Common, Saul Williams, Erykah Badu, Kevin Powell, and Sarah Jones.

Jones’ work explores personal identity, sexuality, history and the female paradigm. Her exhibition at the Harvey B. Gantt Center explored the dichotomy of the virgin and the whore through an analogy with Haitian Voodoo motifs and Magic City strip club culture. There was significant controversy about the piece.

Jones was a 2011 Artist-in-Residence at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, NC.  Also in 2011, Jones was chosen to discuss creativity on a panel for Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. She was featured in the Afropunk Showcase at Moogfest in 2014. In 2005 she received a Caversham Printmaking Fellowship and attended the Spelman College Taller Portobello Artist Colony in 2006.

Also in 2018 Jones included work in The Black Woman is God: Assembly of Gods an annual exhibition of work by Black women artists at SOMArts Gallery in San Francisco.

Personal life

Jones met poet Saul Williams after moving to New York and in 1996 birthed their daughter, Saturn River Renge, after sixty-hour labor. In 2004, three days after earning her MFA, Jones was hospitalized and diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

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