St. John's Museum of Art
Haw River Critter Crossing: The Environment of Clyde Jones
St. John's Museum of Art plans to celebrate the opening of the exhibition Haw River Critter Crossing: The Environment of Clyde Jones in a manner most appropriate for this "outsider" artist who is beloved by children throughout the region: the exhibition's reception will double as the museum's popular Annual Family Day Celebration. The June 17, 2000, event celebrates an artist - and artistic outlook - often associated with children, who represent the artist's favorite audience. (left: Self-taught artist Clyde Jones creates one of his "critters" at St. John's Museum of Art's Family Day Celebration)
The Annual Family Day Celebration that serves as the opening reception for the exhibition Haw River Critter Crossing: The Environment of Clyde Jones will be held Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The celebration will feature artist Clyde Jones creating large-scale painted murals on canvas with participants, as well as art activities in the Cowan House, live music and refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.
The exhibition Haw River Critter Crossing: The Environment of Clyde Jones will be on display through Sept. 3, 2000. Educational plans for the exhibition include a presentation by photographer, folklorist and author Roger Manley, who wrote the book Signs and Wonders: Outsider Art in North Carolina in the early 1990s to accompany an exhibition of the same title. Details of Manley's presentation will be announced shortly. (left: Clyde Jones's famous "Critters" and "Critter Crossing" sign outside his home in Bynum, NC)
Haw River Critter Crossing: The Environment of Clyde Jones represents one of the few exhibitions dedicated entirely to the artistry of Clyde Jones to be held at a major art museum. The exhibition includes several dozen two-dimensional paintings in the museum's Hughes Gallery as well as the lively, three-dimensional "critters" which will be free to roam the museum's garden area.
According to the book Signs and Wonders: Outsider Art in North Carolina, Clyde Jones was born in 1938, in nearby Pittsboro, NC. He worked as a laborer and logger at a nearby mill until 1979, when he severely injured himself with a chainsaw. During his long convalescence from the injury, he began cutting and assembling roots and stumps into animals, or "critters." His painting, which began in 1987, typically incorporates the heavy application of house and car paint onto plywood and discarded doors and depicts the animals and wildlife of Bynum and the Haw River.
The "environment" created by Jones around his home in Bynum, NC, includes hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of his critters - brought to life from the hickory and ash trees that grow along the Haw River. Hundreds of visitors bring their children each year to Bynum to play on the critters. Celebrities, including the dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, also have visited Jones to view his "Haw River Critter Crossing." (left: Self-taught artist Clyde Jones completes a painting on the porch of his Bynum, NC home)
Jones's work has been shown at the Sawtooth Center for Visual Design and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem. His work was included in the exhibitions Signs and Wonders: Outsider Art in North Carolina, which toured the state in the early 1990s, as well as the exhibition Passionate Visions of the American South, organized in 1993 by the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Read more about the St. John's Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine
Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.
For further biographical information please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 2/1/11
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