When my family and I first moved to Seattle in 2006, we began to frequent (and still do) a wonderful restaurant in our neighborhood that had the most stunning paintings. Each time we went, we would talk about how much we liked them. I finally asked who the artist was, and learned it was Fay Jones. I admittedly was a bit in culture shock moving to the West Coast after living on the East Coast my entire adult life, and somehow these paintings always made me feel at home.
Those days, I felt fortunate that my kids were making great friends, but was also a bit envious of people who had family nearby to bring along to school performances and events. There was this gorgeous, well-dressed, older couple who were introduced to me as “Joe’s grandparents” who I saw at practically everything our boys were in. I became friends with Joe’s parents but it wasn’t until I was at a large city art fundraiser, and saw Joe’s grandma featured on the cover of the program, that I connected the dots. Fay Jones was Joe’s grandma and my friend’s mother! Not only that, but her father, Joe’s grandpa, was Robert C. Jones, another beloved Seattle painter whose work I had been following since my West Coast move. She never told me!
Exactly one year ago, Gail Gibson Gallery and James Harris Gallery held a dual exhibition entitled “In Tandem,” which showcased over five decades of this Seattle-based artist couple’s work. Sadly, Bob passed away a month before the show opened. The opening day of the exhibition was a beautiful sunny Saturday, with both galleries packed and people spilling out onto the street. I’d be hard pressed to see a piece by either Fay or Bob Jones that I did not like. The shows were truly stunning. The next day there was a beautiful memorial service, overlooking the Puget Sound, that was so full of love from the family and art community. It was that weekend that I really understood the appeal of this small-town city.
Just a year after Bob’s passing, James Harris Gallery presented an extraordinary, and moving, second solo show of Fay Jones’ work, entitled “Las Golondrinas.”
A set of works on paper, in Fay’s familiar large scale, “Las Golondrinas” is “a symbolic and cathartic presentation of loss and grief, hope and joy. This duality is mirrored in Jones’ signature usage of a horizon line – a divide between two worlds and two perspectives. Rather than directly contrast one another, these multiple realities allude to the complexities and interconnectedness of human experiences. These paintings are in memorial of Jones’ late husband….” (James Harris Gallery)