Paper Terrain: Prints and Drawings by Mary Jones

March 6 – April 12, 2023


I walk. I find the story in the walk. I consider the shape of the walk and how it shapes me, my memories and desires. Later on in the studio, I map out the wilderness of that space on a paper terrain. By layering drawings, writing, and ephemera gathered along the way, I find my way to an image that coheres.

These are cartographic collages, yet the figure dominates. These people reveal the mood of my walks. They are both rambler and scribe, seeker and storyteller. Feelings are worn on their exteriors. I am interested in how the act of mapping out the space of a walk embodies the particularities of perspective – visual, cultural, and emotional. Describing a place tells us not only where, but also who we are.

The Midwest is the place that figures most prominently in my work. The many cities I have lived in are all planned around a regular grid which I learned by walking and memorizing street names and, where they existed, public transportation routes. GPS is no substitute for this kind of wayfinding – dwelling as a body in a very particular space. Negotiating the paper terrain is much the same process. I keep looking, remembering, and arranging until I feel at home. 
-Mary Jones

About the artist:

Mary Jones received an MFA in printmaking from Indiana University at Bloomington and a BFA in art history from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is included in permanent collections at the Linda Lee Alter Collection of Art by Women at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and in the Illinois State Museum. Jones has been an artist-in-residence at the Ragdale Foundation, Anchor Graphics, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She was named an Iowa Arts Council Fellow in 2019 and a notable artist in New American Paintings, Midwest Edition #134.