Local artist displays work at HCC to boost education

R. Benjamin Jones' show features almost 80 of his pieces

R. Benjamin Jones' show features almost 80 of his pieces

November 20, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- "I just do the paintings, that's all," R. Benjamin Jones said Friday night during an art show featuring his work at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater.

The art show is an annual event, and a portion of the proceeds goes toward scholarships for the college's students, said Lieba Cohen, executive director of the HCC Foundation.

The artist's wife, Becky Jones, also serves on the foundation's board and he credited her with doing a lot of the work for this weekend's show.

"Ben and I both believe strongly in education," Becky Jones said.

Cohen estimated the foundation has raised about $225,000 for student scholarships over the years.

"The idea of a community college is a sound one. It's a way for people to begin their education process," R. Benjamin Jones said.


He taught at HCC in the humanities department for about 24 years.

Almost 80 of his pieces, most of them acrylic paintings, were featured in the show.

It takes Jones at least a couple of days to create a medium-size painting, he said.

His brother, Henry Jones of Towson, Md., is also an artist and has had his work featured in past shows. Henry Jones made his way through the theater, examining his brother's work.

Many of the paintings this year depicted local landmarks, including the Hager House and Burnside Bridge. Others featured New England water and boating scenes.

One painting featured a Scottish man in a kilt. Jones said he watched the man marching in a parade during a recent trip to the Scottish Highlands.

Also for sale were signed, limited edition reproductions of the John Brown house, which Jones first drew in 1974 to benefit the Washington County Commission on African Hunger Relief.

Wanda Gerstner and Mary Anne Burke, both of Hagerstown, attend the art show every year.

"His work is just tremendous," Gerstner said.

Burke praised the detail in Jones' paintings and admired his use of color.

"I like his New England scenes. His local barns are also quite stunning," she said.

If you go

What: R. Benjamin Jones art show

When: Today, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater

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