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.
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.