The event, “My Friend and Mentor, Jimmie Jones” will be one of many events through the month of October that extend from Jones’ current exhibit at the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery entitled, “The San Blas Years”.
Having known Jones from the time he was a small boy, Holt’s work echoes the tutelage of his life-long mentor. Growing up in a home where Jones’ work lined the walls, Holt said the older he got, the more he realized that there were passive lessons he picked up along the way.
“When we took the ‘Rush Lake’ painting off of the wall (of my mother’s home) and we put it in the Braithwaite Gallery,” Holt said. “I saw it in a new setting for the first time in 40 years and realized – well, first what a great painting it was – but then, I also realized that I’ve kind-of learned how to do sage brush just by looking at that painting.”
Actively however, Holt learned through exposure to Jones’ creative process first-hand. He said that learning began at an early age when his mother met Jones at a function and they became fast friends. Holt said he plans to share the story of that meeting Tuesday night while he paints.
Beyond the deep bonds of friendship, Holt said that their families actually had genealogical ties to each other, because Jones’ mother was a cousin to his grandfather.
The fact that they came from the same “pioneer stock” was incredibly inspirational for the budding artist who said he never wavered from his love of creating art – in part, because of the significant influence Jones had just by being in his life.
“What it showed to me,” Holt said. “Is that a kid that grew up in a little farm community in southern Utah can go as high in the world of art as you can go.”
Southern Utah University, University College of Performing and Visual Arts marketing and public relations coordinator, Michael French said that including Holt in the extended events related to the Jones exhibit was a natural fit right away.
He said Holt had recently led several plein air nature hikes for SUU as part of an outreach program to educate the community about the Southern Utah Museum of the Arts, and his deep ties to Jones are, in some ways, and analogy for Jones’ legacy to the community.
French said that Jones had taken a young Holt on the same hikes many years ago, and the idea that now the student has become the teacher is indicative of the culture of stewardship of the arts that exists in southern Utah.
“Brad is now a part of our local artistic heritage here in the community,” French said.
Artisans Gallery director Steve Yates said that Holt was one of the first friends he made when he moved to Cedar City in 1980. He said Holt introduced him to Jimmie all of those years ago and he had been friends with the both of them ever since.
Though Holt definitely has his own style when he paints, Yates says he can clearly see Jones’ influence when he takes note of the artists knack for making a landscape come to life.
“I think where I see the most of Jimmie in Brad’s work,” Yates said. “Is in his eye for the landscape,
“It’s not just a pretty picture – Brad is brilliant at capturing the light of the landscape, Jim Jones was too – you really get the feeling for the place in the painting,” he added.
One final similarity between the two artists Yates said is the way Jones gave, and Holt continues to give, back to the community ensuring that Cedar City’s art heritage will live on for generations to come.
More information is available at www.suu.edu/pva/artgallery/