Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents The Poke Show: Inquiries for the Made-Up Mind, an exhibition of illustration work by alumnus Stephen G. Jones, at its downtown gallery WAG during the July 2 and August 6 editions of the First Saturday Art Crawl, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Through linocut, letterpress and Risograph prints from digital and traditional means, The Poke Show is dedicated to questioning different societal programs, systems, individual beliefs and the status quo in our daily lives. The heaviness of these themes is subdued by the approachable nature of the storytelling mechanisms. From food systems and gun control to armed conflict and other government policies, the work straddles the lines of commentary, incitement and self-evaluation.
Hailing from bourbon country and thirsty for new experiences, Stephen G. Jones explored the world as a U.S. Navy Photographer prior to his branding and design career. Armed with a strong work ethic and empathy for different spices of life, he’s taken those experiences and applied them toward his creative practice. A 2011 graduate of Watkins’ Graphic Design BFA program, he is owner/creative director of GoGo Jones, a Nashville-based branding studio.
He has partnered with great organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Crowned Heads Cigars, Mill Creek Brewing Company, West Coast Wine • Cheese (San Francisco), Marcus Whitney, and the Unlikely Co. He was also an instrumental part in getting Creative Mornings Nashville, a monthly breakfast lecture series, off the ground with counterparts and fellow Watkins alumni Kristin Schleihs and Alicia Waters Binkley.
“Stephen is a force to be reckoned with: a principled, smart-as-hell artist/designer who assists clients by listening, distilling, discussing, then making,” said Dan Brawner, chair of the Department of Graphic Design. “He’s a force for good, improving the visual landscape one well-kerned phrase, one well-crafted, well-positioned brand at a time.
“This new work is evidence of a powerful voice, proof that one working within the commercial realm, untethered, has a similar agenda of promoting truth, beauty, and goodness as a personal/political agenda. Go, man, go.”
FYI: Risograph is a high-speed digital printing system designed mainly for high-volume photocopying by means of an internal stencil. Manufactured by the Riso Kagaku Corporation, it was first released in Japan in 1986.
WAG–an acronym for Watkins Arcade Gallery–is located in suite 77 upstairs in the historic Arcade and is open the first Saturday evening of the month during each Art Crawl (from 6-9 p.m.), and by appointment.
WAG joins approximately 20 participating Art Crawl galleries along Fifth Avenue of the Arts and upstairs in the Historic Arcade. Admission is free, and the Nashville Downtown Partnership provides two free shuttles traveling among the venues. For more information on the First Saturday Art Crawl, visit nashvilledowntown.com/play/first-saturday-art-crawl.
CREDITS: Images from the Food Fight Series (digital collage/Risograph) by Stephen G. Jones