Gaslight Art Colony in Marshall, Illinois, will feature artwork by Indiana artists Monty Jones and Marty Jones beginning with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. CDT Saturday in Gaslight’s gallery at 516 Archer Ave.
This father and son pair paint and photograph their passions. Monty Jones had a deep interest in drawing and painting from a very early age and he subscribed to a mail-order art course in his younger days. He never quite completed the course due to growing family commitments and working 12-hour days in the printing industry. So his artistic desires were put on hold until retirement at 60.
Monty was one of seven original founders of River City Art Association in fall of 2008 and has been involved in all RCAA activities over the years. This has led to being involved in Gaslight and several other art organizations in the area.
Monty likes to draw and paint all things that he may be passionate about, which includes a lot of subjects. He is probably best known for his wildlife art, but due to his involvement in auto racing and automotive interests, he really loves to draw and paint cars. Monty has been in several exhibitions and art shows throughout the Wabash Valley and in the Indianapolis area.
Monty joined Indiana Wildlife Artists in 2011 and has won several first- and second-place awards in that time. He also has been an associate member of Covered Bridge Art Association for several years.
He works out of a studio behind his home in Terre Haute, and has been married to his wife, Phyllis, for over 50 years. They have three adult children, Marty, Robert and Barbara.
Marty is a 53-year-old photographer living near Terre Haute. “My father, Monty ‘Indiana’” Jones, has always been the real artist in the family,” Marty said. By studying his father’s paintings at an early age, Marty became interested in art and photography. To this day he likes to study famous paintings to be inspired, gain ideas and improve photography skills. He has been taking photos since his parents gave him his first Kodak camera at age 8.
Marty’s occupation is working as a regulatory and safety consultant in the electric utility Industry. He learned to operate a camera through practice — trial and error. Today, he continues to learn photography and software by watching video tutorials and reading blogs. During the day, Marty photographs nature and wildlife. In the blue hour and afterward, he likes to photograph by light, painting street scenes, abandoned buildings and old cars.
Many of the photos’ subjects he will have on display at Gaslight Art Colony are of birds. There have been times when he sat in a blind all day to photograph a single bird. To date, he has photographed 334 bird species within Indiana. Many of the birds photographed are extremely rare for the area. He likes photography that is challenging, and obtaining bird photography perfection meets that challenge.
Photographing birds opened a lot of doors for Marty. For example, he met his wife, Stephanie, thanks to a photo he once took of a Blue Grosbeak. It also has allowed him to develop many connections and friendships with birders and bird photographers from around the world.
Marty also is very involved with local and national land trusts. He does everything he can to help protect native birds and the habitats they depend upon to survive. His ultimate bird photography goal is to encourage the viewer to become more aware of what is often so easily overlooked and underappreciated.
Many of his bird photographs have been printed and distributed in state, national and international publications. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, The Philadelphia Zoo, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and many different Land Trusts use his photos for advertising and educational purposes. Marty has always donated bird photos to any non-profit organization that uses photos for the good of native birds.
Gaslight patrons are encouraged to register for a chance to win a free children’s class during the opening reception. An adult may register for a child’s class to be given away in the form of a drawing. A coupon to the supper club in Marshall also is given to patrons who attend an opening.
Monty and Marty’s exhibit can be viewed Saturday through July 14. For hours and more details, call 217-293-1050 or visit gaslightartcolony.com.