Contrasting the love of art with the Triad’s Best Visual Artist and Art Gallery
The Triad is not only blessed with a treasure trove of amazing artists, but it also has a plethora of art galleries, both large and small. If you are not aware of the abundant art scene and good vibes from artists, art lovers and galleries, you’ll have to get out and explore an entity that is growing faster than summer kudzu across the South.
The 2019 Triad’s Best Artist goes to Jordan Morris aka JoMo. Morris creates fun, uncensored art that is inspired by cartoons and pop culture. He transforms dark days to laughter with his quirky, fun-loving sense of humor and is obviously successful in helping people not take themselves too seriously. He has created quite a loyal following that can’t get enough of his funky stickers and private commissions.
For the second year in a row, Morris said he was amazed and surprised to learn that he had been voted the Triad’s Best Visual Artist. He said he wasn’t expecting it this year or last year and was so happy to get to keep his crown. Morris didn’t just win in a small way. YES! Weekly editor Katie Murawski said he won 811 votes. “It’s a huge win,” she wrote in a Facebook message. “If you stroll down Tate Street or Walker Avenue, you’ll see his stickers plastered everywhere.”
Morris said he creates his art digitally on his Windows Surface Pro. He sells merchandise such as stickers, prints, pins, and T-shirts; but take note, he does not do tattoos as he “absolutely would never draw something on someone’s skin.” He uses his website as his storefront and makes a living by selling his art through social media and by taking commissions. Morris said he has been doing a lot of local art and is also focusing more on his digital presence. Although he admits that he hates social media, Morris said it is a necessary medium for artists today and that he is “totally spoiled by digital and working solo,” because he doesn’t like drawing in crowds. He tries to use local vendors as much as possible.
If left up to Morris, he’d prefer to be dog walking more than doing anything else, as that is what he does on the side. He said running his business includes much hard work that people don’t see. Being self-employed is like an iceberg; your friends, family, and clients only see the product and service above the water, but the rest of the work (below the water) is twice as huge. He admits that he puts work off to the last minute and then sometimes busts things out in 24 hours.
Morris said he loves dogs as do most people, and he cross-pollinates with pet portraits as well as nude portraits. He is surprised at how many people love to commission nudes. He laughed as he explained that he has no filter and declared, “I love stickers and butts. I like big butts. For now, it’s all about the branding and using my ugly mug.” His straight-up honesty and humor must be what the Triad needs a lot more of this year. For commissions, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and to see more of his art, visit his website and Facebook page.
The 2019 Triad’s Best Art Gallery goes to Reynolda House Museum of American Art, which is supported by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, affiliated with Wake Forest University and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
“I think Reynolda House has the best of both worlds,” said Allison Slaby, Reynolda’s curator since 2005. “Like an art gallery, it has very exciting changing exhibitions, and as a museum, the permanent collection is a blockbuster every day. You can see the paintings up close and personal in a home-like setting. We also have lots of fun programming this summer, including our Summertime Social on June 13.”
The Mary and Charlie Babcock Wing has a 3,000 square-foot gallery with large-scale changing exhibitions. “Hopper to Pollock: American Modernism from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute” was up through May 12. “Leyendecker and the Golden Age of American Illustration” will open on Aug. 30.
In the historic house, four bedrooms are used as galleries for installations of works of art drawn from the permanent collection. These presently include “Martin Puryear: Cane,” “Portraits of the Artists,” and “The American Experiment: Nineteenth-Century Prints.”
For more information and a schedule of programming, visit the website.
Terry Rader is a former ad agency pro creative director, branding strategist, Earth Harmony columnist and storyteller on a mission to write stories to promote creative people, grassroots, sustainability and underground happenings in our community while she pet/home sits and writes her personal stories, songs, poems, and nature essays.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Rd., Winston-Salem, (336)758-5150, Hours: Tues. – Sat., 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sun: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.