By Aissatou Sidime-Blanton
Alethia Jones’ new acrylics painting are populated by glowing icons that appear to create their own cosmos of meaning. No wonder – she credits Jean-Michel Basquiat, Moyo Ogundipe, and Pablo Picasso for her inspiration.
Jones is in a two-person exhibition at Alex Rubio’s R Space gallery at 110 East LaChappelle that will open with a reception on Nov. 10 from 7 m to 10 pm. Jones will be exhibiting , alongside oil painter Paris Davis, in her first gallery exhibition. It will close the day before Thanksgiving.
“My artwork is mainly spiritually focused,” said the 32-year old who currently works a merchandiser at Sear’s and owns Uhuru Aevum Handcrafted Jewelry and Art. “I’m expressing a part of me that I don’t get to express very often. As life in the U.S. continues to darken politically, emotionally, and spiritually, I want my work to serve as an inspirational light to others.”
The Dallas native has lived in San Antonio for 8 years. She came to the Alamo City when her father retired from the U.S. Army.
As a child, she enjoyed sketching and later studied fashion design at Texas Woman’s University with the plan to launch her own fashion clothing.
“I have always wanted to achieve a career that would allow me to utilize my imagination and creativity,” Jones said. “I went to Texas Woman’s University with the hopes of becoming a fashion designer. I struggled throughout my time in college, and eventually left school, discouraged that I would never reach my dream.”
Eventually she began making jewelry and then started painting on the leather that was incorporated into her varied accessories. Earlier this year, her rekindled interest in painting led her back to stretched canvases.
“Through my paintings, I want to serve as a spiritual light and to be a voice among African-American female artists who don’t get as much attention,” Jones said.
Aissatou Sidime-Blanton is a San Antonio-based curator and art collector. With her husband, Stewart Blanton, she underwrites the Abaraka Award, a biennial grant for African American women who teach, curate or create visual art. Learn more at SidimeBlantonFund.org.
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The earthly curtain has closed for the last time for the multi-talented, actress, singer, model, activist, Tony-winning-, Oscar nominated, and first Black woman to star in her own TV series; Diahann Carroll, died today at her Los Angeles home at age 84. Reports note that she had battled with cancer for some time now.
Born Carol Diahann Johnson, she went by Diahann Carroll. Known for her beauty and poise, Carroll broke race barriers when she stared in the TV series Julia in 1968. Her role was iconic because it was the first time a black woman didn’t play the role of a servant. She was also well recognized for her role in the film Claudine and for playing the character Dominique Deveraux, a mixed-race diva in the soap opera Dynasty.
RIP Diahann Carroll.