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Art's up for education

November 17, 2005|By KRISTIN WILSON

kristinw@herald-mail.com

R. Benjamin Jones spent almost 25 years educating students at Hagerstown Community College.

These days he's still doing his part to educate local students, only his method is slightly different: Jones is raising money for education through his love of painting.

A portion of the proceeds from this weekend's annual R. Benjamin Jones art show and sale, will go toward HCC Foundation Inc., which provides scholarships.

"I really enjoyed teaching (at HCC)," Jones says. "I was pleased with the product and want to support it."

This year's sale includes 67 original paintings by the local artist, who lives south of Hagerstown.

The works range in price from $350 to $7,200. Much of Jones' work showcases the agricultural heritage of Washington County, but he also paints scenes of maritime communities, including Mystic, Conn., Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and Nantucket Island, Mass. Jones is well-known for his New England scenes and portraits of European destinations, especially Florence, Italy.

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This year Jones explored a new subject ? the historical re-enactors of Fort Frederick in Washington County.

While gathering information for a commission work of the 250th anniversary of the fort, Jones ran across French and Indian War-period re-enactors. He was struck by the re-enactors' attention to historical detail and created several paintings based on what he saw.

"It looked like they were really there" in the 18th century, Jones says.

This is the sixth year Jones has put his work up for sale to benefit the community college's foundation. About $100,000 was raised from the previous five shows, and the interest from that money has so far assisted nine students, says Lieba Cohen, the college's director of institutional advancement.

Jones and his wife, Becky, will be on hand both days of the show. They say the show always feels like a party. On Friday night, there will be piano music, wine and hors d'oeuvres.

Notecards of one of the paintings in the show will be available, $10 for 10 cards. There is also a raffle for a Jones painting valued at $2,200, says Becky Jones. Raffle tickets will be sold during both days of the show for $20 per ticket. The raffle drawing will be on Saturday afternoon. Participants don't have to be present to win.

"It's a very classy event," Cohen adds. "It really highlights Mr. Jones' work."




If you go...



WHAT: R. Benjamin Jones Art Show and Sale

WHEN: 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19

WHERE: Kepler Theater, Hagerstown Community College campus off Robinwood Drive

COST: Free

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