The Rapidian

The Artists of Heartside Gallery and Studio-- Willie Jones

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The Artists of Heartside Gallery and Studio-- Willie Jones

/Heartside Gallery and Studio

Underwriting support from:

The Artists of Heartside Gallery and Studio


The Artists of Heartside Gallery and Studio is a monthly feature to highlight some of the wonderful people of the Heartside neighborhood.  Visit www.heartside.orgFacebook and our Flickr page to keep up with us, to learn about volunteering and other ways to get involved.


Sarah Scott is Arts Coordinator for Heartside Gallery and Studio, and can be reached at [email protected]

Hot Rod, by Willie Jones (marker on paper)

Hot Rod, by Willie Jones (marker on paper) /Heartside Gallery and Studio

image from the exhibition 'Willie's Garage', hosted at Calvin's (106) Gallery.

image from the exhibition 'Willie's Garage', hosted at Calvin's (106) Gallery. /Heartside Gallery and Studio

This article was written in collaboration with the artist.


Our featured artist for June is Willie Jones!


 Here's a little bit about the artist, in his own words:


‘My name is Willie Jones and I’m 55.  I was born in Jackson, Tennessee and was raised up in Chicago and Milwaukee.  You could say Grand Rapids, too, cause I been here 39 years.  When I was growin’ up I went to grade school and then up to the high school, and I worked over at the factory.  And, oh wow, it’s been some years that I been worked at the factory, man about 15 years.  A lot of years I got laid off.  They done gave me some Social Security Income when I got laid off because they said I was a little slow or something like that.  I remember like when I worked at car washes and stuff like that, and I really done some of everything. 


My favorite thing to do?  Hmm, oh man I had fun working in the factory, running machines and all that, doing like piece work.  Right now I come on down to the studio and make art.  Matter of fact, I love the art place.  Get to meet different people when I am making art here, and my case worker put me in here.  In the beginning the lady at a big office said I could come here and do some art.  Then that’s it!  Now I just like to make art.  I draw now, and more than that if you want me to.  I do a lot of cars because that’s what my heart lets out.  I can’t stop, I got the flow on.  Got to keep on keeping on.  And I love to make drawings of drums.  And my harmonicas.  Yup I make music, play music, sing music, draw music.  Right on!  Like I said I gotta keep on with the keeping on.  I love to dance because that’s my style, and it’s in my blood.  Isley Brothers is my jam.  Fight the Power is my jam.  And I like to travel and visit my people.  Mostly I go out and have fun, play with the band, draw.  That’s my heartbeat.’


Willie has been selected for an international juried exhibit at The Museum of Everything in London!  The show will run from late August-end of October 2011, and we’ll be sure to post more info as it become available.

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