Artist goes extra mile for inspiration

Annual fundraiser features art by retired professor Ben Jones

Annual fundraiser features art by retired professor Ben Jones

November 15, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

Ben Jones used to drive to New England and other galleries along the East Coast to sell his works and make appearances at shows featuring his paintings.

He still drives to Nantucket Island, Mass., and Lancaster County, Pa., almost every year for inspiration, but most of his artwork the past 10 years has been sold at a fundraiser for Hagerstown Community College student scholarships.

"Whatever the gallery would normally get, the school gets and it's for the scholarship fund," said Jones, 71, who lives east of Hagerstown.

The art show has raised $155,945 for HCC student scholarships in its seven shows, last year resulting in approximately $27,000, said Lieba Cohen. Cohen is executive director for the HCC Foundation, which distributes the scholarships.


The R. Benjamin Jones Art Show and Sale this Friday and Saturday will feature approximately 50 to 60 of Jones' acrylic paintings, said Jones, who taught part time at HCC for almost 25 years until 2003.

Jones taught art appreciation, philosophy and English afterstarting with painting and drawing, which he doesn't think he did a good job teaching.

"A lot of art students want to do what I do. That's not good," Jones said. They should develop their own style and technique.

"I should be a catalytic agent to get out of you the artist that is in you. I didn't have that with students," through no fault of their own, Jones said.

Jones' own paintings range in subject matter, from people to a variety of landscapes he photographs, sometimes taking as many as 50 photos for one painting.

The photos help with details such as color, but actually being there, having seen the subject is what gives the paintings life, Jones said.

"That's the creative moment," Jones said.

If you go ...

WHAT: R. Benjamin Jones Art Show and Sale

WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17

WHERE: Kepler Theater, Hagerstown Community College, Robinwood Drive, east of Hagerstown

COST: Free admission

MORE: For more information, call 301-790-2800, ext. 348. Raffle tickets are available for $20 to win an original R. Benjamin Jones painting, "Backyard Peonies," valued at $2,800. The winner, whose name will be drawn Saturday, does not need to be present to win. Check out "Backyard Peonies" and some other Jones' paintings at

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