Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Color of Money

Gallery 2001 in Beeghly Library is the place for our newest exhibit, Confederate Currency: The Color of Money by John W. Jones.

Mr. Jones will be on campus Tuesday, February 18th to give an illustrated talk in the Bayley Room of Beeghly library at 7pm, to be followed by a reception in the Gallery.

Mr. Jones talks about this exhibit:

[this] is a journey that started in 1996 while working as a graphic artist at a blueprint company in Charleston. After enlarging a Confederate bank note for a customer, I found myself looking at a picture of slaves picking cotton. Intrigued and excited, I started researching and documenting the use of slaves on Confederate and Southern states money. I was astonished by the widespread use of slaves on these currencies, and even more shocked by the absence of this information in any history books. The engravings on the bills are so small, that unless you were looking for them, you would miss them...

I decided to bring these engravings to light, as an addition to my series of paintings of the African American experience. I present the engravings as originally portrayed on the currencies without revision. I have used my colorful acrylics on canvas to bring the paintings back to life, and to extract from the dehumanizing engravings, the essential humanity of their subject matter... My hope is that the exhibition "The Color of Money" will inspire meaningful conversation on these issues and somehow help to heal our wounds.

John W. Jones Columbia, South Carolina