As an involved Durangoan, McCarson Jones wears many hats. She is known as an arts and youth advocate, a former executive director of the Durango Arts Center, a partner in &, the burgeoning art incubator on Main Avenue, and the principal of Red Scarf Shots photography.
Her photographs, commercial and otherwise, often are produced in black and white and always are dramatic. Her eye for capturing the essence of her subject is keen, as is her wit. Her range of artistic talent and love for music, the written word and people are all combined in her one-night-only exhibition Papier (French for paper), tonight at &.
Jones, in this one-woman tour de force of mixed-media components and installations, clearly demonstrates her diverse skills along with her intellect.
When asked to define the meaning of the shows title, she said with a characteristically infectious smile, I love education, meeting new people, watching subjects, reading words, listening to music and I absolutely love photography. I like what paper stands for. It is a simple form of communication packed with a punch.
She then wistfully said, The digital age is upon us, and I hope and pray that paper stays!
That doesnt mean shes not aware of the environmental benefits of a paperless world.
I am all for sustainability as well as doing what is right for our environment; at the same time I love to hold a letter from a loved one, review a newspaper to catch up on the latest, share education with work studies and review our history in a good book. This show is really a celebration of paper, she said.
Her favorite place to visit as often as possible is Paris, but she also has explored and photographed in Maui and in Spain. All of the work for sale in the show has at least one paper component and ranges from visual images to collage, assemblage, tiny jewelry boxes and adorned 3-D structures. The photographs are all printed on archival paper in limited editions of five. No framed pieces are included in the exhibition.
Of the photos, most have a reference of some kind to paper or are digitally printed on paper. Several of the images incorporate people reading on steps, in parks, on a cliff above the surf. Only two were staged, while the others are candid. In one, a pigeon with flapping wings caught in mid-flight mimics the hand and fingers of a nearby person engrossed in reading. A favorite Parisian image, the Eiffel Tower is artfully portrayed through a maze of branches on a cherry tree that mirror the cross beams of that famous structure.
Part of the shows work is focused on how important female gender issues were glossed over or ignored for generations in school history lessons. To communicate that injustice, Jones has covered a childs school desk with text and imagery. Titled A Revolutionary Process, it is poignant and unique and viewers will want to spend time reading and studying its contents.
Tonights show will be a festive affair with live music by Evan Fricke, and Jones will have ice cream, cupcakes and soft drinks for her guests. & is not able to serve alcohol but as with all shows at the studio/gallery, Carver Brewing Co. provides discount drink coupons and attendees need only cross the street for a cold beer.
Stew Mosberg writes about art for numerous regional and national publications. Reach him at [email protected]