Jamal Holmes honored with artist’s reception

Published 6:40 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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A large gathering of family members, townspeople and Troy University representatives attended the artist’s reception for Antonio Jamal Holmes Thursday evening at the Johnson Center for the Arts.

Brenda Campbell, JCA director, said it was an interested and enthusiast audience that attended the reception honoring the Troy artist.

“There is something uniquely special about hosting an exhibit by a local artist,” Campbell said. “And, it is exciting to see a local artist who is doing such amazing work, from colorful abstracts to small sculptures to Styrofoam 3-D hangings, to found object creations to detailed portraits.”

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And, for the artist’s reception, Holmes brought along a friend who played guitar, making the reception an even more festive event.

Holmes shared stories about his artwork that gave a glimpse into who he is personally and artistically.

“From as far back as I can remember, growing up in a small town in Alabama, I never knew of actual artists but I always thought the people and land were as beautiful as any art,” Holmes said.

With those thoughts came the dream, the desire, to capture the world as viewed through Holmes’ own eyes.

The artist shared insight into his artwork and how it has evolved through time and opportunities.

His sharply detailed portraits are in sharp contrast to his colorful Styrofoam sculptures, which came about it a rather odd way.

Holmes shared the story of how, as the result of his wanderings in the woodlands around Pike County Lake, he found himself lost.

As luck or fate would have it, the driver of a “pickup” truck offered him a ride. Along the way, the conversation turned Holmes in the direction of Blockwire Manufacturing in Goshen, which specializes in the design and production of the highest quality foam core monument signs.

Holmes, the artist, found work at Blockwire and also found a purpose for the scrap foam at the workplace. View the “scrap foam” sculptures in the lower gallery at the Johnson Center for the Arts.

The Antonio Jamal Holmes exhibition at the Johnson Center for the Arts will run through February 17. The JCA hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.