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HCC art show scholarship money

Former instructor sells work to further education

Former instructor sells work to further education

November 17, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN ? Paintings on display at Hagerstown Community College on Friday represented pieces of R. Benjamin Jones ? his art, as well as his essence.

As nattily dressed patrons of the arts peered at his paintings, Jones was too busy chatting with friends to notice their reactions.

But when asked how the public display contrasts with periods of solitary work, the artist said, "It's somewhat difficult because it means you're revealing yourself ... It's like asking people, 'What do you think of me?'"

They thought highly enough to have purchased about half of the pieces as the evening was more than half over.

The show was a fundraiser for the Hagerstown Community College Foundation. A portion of the proceeds was earmarked for a student scholarship fund.

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Raffles were to be held for a few paintings.

The profits from the sale of notecards went to the scholarship fund, too.

Jones' previous seven shows raised nearly $160,000 for scholarships.

"We feel strongly about education," said his wife, Becky Jones, who is on the foundation board.

She said the idea for a fundraising art show came from her son-in-law, Pete Low, who also is on the foundation board.

Ben Jones, who lives east of Hagerstown, had a direct connection to HCC, too. He taught in the school's humanities department for about 23 years.

With piano music tinkling in the background and wait staff offering trays of hors d'oeuvres, people mingled in the lobby of HCC's Kepler Theater.

A program listed 58 of Jones' paintings for sale, ranging from $600 for a sunflower painting to $5,800 for a piece called "Four Guernseys and a Swiss."

Jones said the collection represented about a year's worth of work.

A typical year for him is about 30 to 50 paintings.

"I work very hard ..." he said. "I brought everything I have."

Son-in-law Tim Noffsinger, who was keeping track of sales, said some people came just to look and have "an art experience," which was part of the fun of the evening.

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