Favorite

Storytellers 

Jacks and Williams at HAM.

JACKS' OBAMA: Collage treatment on folded paper.
  • JACKS' OBAMA: Collage treatment on folded paper.

Ariston Jacks and Susan Williams are African-American artists who have in common substantial talent. Both have stories to tell as well, so HAM has paired them up for an exhibit, “The Visual Narrative,” that will be up through May 10.

Jacks is a painter, and his work is heavy on symbolism, commenting on African-American identity. He isn't afraid to step away from usual forms, techniques and surfaces, an approach that will serve him well as long as it is not forced. “Visual Narrative” features, for example, his paintings on paper that have been folded like the memorial ribbon now used in various causes — pink for breast cancer, red for aids. Jacks has put the face of Barack Obama in the middle of one ribbon, set against a mosaic of stars, black faces, a dollar bill, portraits of our greater presidents. He's used a tall thin shadowbox to frame his painting of a man with a hoe. A thought balloon shows the man to be thinking about cotton, or what cotton stands for in his world. The lens of his eyeglasses are painted with a thick, pale polymer that obscures, as glass would, the man's eyes. He has a halo around his head — a motif that Jacks uses in his portrayal of generations past. Three long paintings — separate but a triptych — combine symbols of American capitalism and African tradition, and Jacks juxtaposes with great effect a pale wash over the hovering symbols against the vivid color of the African-American subjects. His painting “Ill Equipped” shows a black man in shirt and jeans holding a spear.

Williams is a sculptor, and her narratives are told, more often than not, in the tilt of a head, the look in the eye and the movement of an arm. Her “Medicine Man” — for some reason displayed on a pedestal so low you have to get down on the floor to get a good look at it — is a graceful, beautifully sculpted figure of a man moving through the air, dreads flying, body twisting, holding on to some sort of ribbons or sticks. Her female heads are, in some instances, too manikin-pretty but the multi-bunned “Her Majesty” is strong. Her “Smiley Girl,” the head of a pouting child, is wonderfully textured. I'd like to see Williams' work on a larger scale. It would cost a bundle, no doubt, but the impact would be terrific.

 

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Fountain Fest sculpture reveal tonight at the Arts Center

    You'll have to go to the Arkansas Arts Center's Fountain Fest tonight to see how Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects' winning sketch was carried out as the temporary sculpture in the Carrie Remmel Dickinson fountain. The party, with food, drink and music, gets going at 5:30 p.m.
    • Oct 19, 2017
  • Blue Canoe to open new brewing and gaming space

    Blue Canoe Brewing Co. is opening a 20,000-square-foot brewing and gaming space at 1637 E. 15th St., the old PC Hardware warehouse. Macie Fellows, who described herself as a “brand ambassador,” said the space, which Blue Canoe has remodeled “from the ground up,” will be Blue Canoe’s primary brewery.
    • Oct 11, 2017
  • Apartment project announced for SoMa

    The Lasiter Group announced today that it will build a 35-unit apartment complex in the 1300 block of Scott Street called the Villa View. The development, on the west side of Scott, will face the historic Villa Marre. The project should be complete by the end of 2018.
    • Oct 6, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Guest Playlist: Flap Jones of "Not Necessarily Nashville" schools us on real country music

    "Not Necessarily Nashville," which airs on KUAR-FM 89.1 every Saturday, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., celebrates three decades of the "best of the rest of country music" Saturday, October 21 at the White Water Tavern with Brad Williams of The Salty Dogs & The Creek Rocks, and we asked host Flap Jones to curate a playlist for us ahead of that anniversary celebration.
  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Latest in Art Notes

  • Why abstract art?

    Because Peters.
    • Jul 27, 2017
  • Art outbreak

    2nd Friday features Peters, Holl Collection, LGBTQ work; Delta Exhibition opens.
    • Jun 8, 2017
  • Black magic

    Women's work in wire, metalpoint, fabric, glass, cut paper at Hearne.
    • Mar 30, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

October

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Thumped again

    • No new life for the Hogs this week. Gus will have the Tigers focused and…

    • on October 19, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation