Richmond Father and Son Share More Than a Last Name
‘The Art of Life Through the Love of Art’
Naturally, the bond between a parent and child is strong. Richmond-based painters Jerome W. Jones Jr., 57, and his 27-year-old son, Jeromyah, say their connection is stronger because of their shared passion for art.
When the two are talking about their passion for life and art, they occasionally interrupt each other in their excitement – something that more often happens among couples.
“We just love what we do,” Jerome says.
Art has been a major part of Jerome’s life since he was a child. At age 14, he showed off 75 pieces at his first one-person art exhibit. “It’s been a great journey,” Jerome says.
The father says he made sure to surround his son with art early on – evident in the dreamy mural in Jeromyah’s bedroom when he was a baby, depicting a safari complete with a giraffe, lion, parrots and other animals.
However, Jerome says, he never pushed art on his son. Jeromyah just ended up falling in love with it, too. The younger artist says he always enjoyed making art, but at Hampton University, he first majored in architecture; then he switched majors and ultimately earned a degree in fine arts. Now, the two both paint full time, primarily working from their family’s home, where both live.
Though they work on their art separately, their styles are similar, each featuring realistic elements using bright colors to depict familiar landscapes, celebrities and inspiring historical figures. As the philosophy expressed at their website states, “The Art of Life Through the Love of Art.” Jerome’s extensive portfolio includes signed portraits of dozens of famous individuals, including Michael Jackson.
“We don’t just like to paint the famous people we know,” says Jeromyah, “but also the unsung heroes we ought to know.”
For example, the star of Jeromyah’s painting, “A Portrait of L.U.C.Y,” is a young Richmond athlete named Lucy, whom he met while speaking to a group of children at a basketball camp. The piece depicts the young girl poised to take off running on a track with images of Ethiopian fossils and historic architecture in the background – the artist blending the past and present.
The duo believes in bringing the art to the public, so many of their exhibits are on display at local spaces, such as barbershops, businesses and the Trinity Family Life Center, in addition to traditional museum galleries. Although the father and son mostly stick together, occasionally they’ll exhibit their works separately.
View their works and journeys at JeromeWJonesJr.com.