The Story Behind the Work : Bernice

This is Bernice.

I didn't know Bernice Jones. But I do know that if you pronounce her name "Ber-Niece" you probably didn't either. For those who knew Mrs. Jones, they knew that you pronounced her name, "Burn-is".

What most local folks do know about the Jones family is short : they are the people for whom The Jones Center is named. 

As a newcomer to Northwest Arkansas I didn't even know that much when I traipsed into my position as communications director at The Jones Center. After working there for almost two years before Sam was born I now know this:

  • The Joneses were people who had no problem with hard work.
  • Mr. Jones went from own a team of mules to owning and eventually selling one of the largest trucking companies in America.
  • Once you know to look, a visitor to Springdale Arkansas can easily spot a half dozen public facilities / infrastructure that bear their names as a reminder of their generosity.

It was one day, about a year after resigning my position that I visited my friends at The Jones Center. As I walked up, I noticed these gorgeous hollyhocks which, according to my gardening magazines (ie. the sole source of my botanical knowledge), represented one of the quintessential antiquated blooms.

The next day I sat down and painted this painting inspired both by that flower and the memory of that lady. Both delightfully old school in the best way.

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The current "Story Behind the Work" series describes the people, places, and experiences that have influenced the pieces in my first art show - Local Color

Be sure to check out paigemeredith.com/localcolor for more stories behind the art as well as information on how to buy an original piece of art.