Jeffrey Cortland Jones

Associate Professor
Full-Time Faculty
College of Arts and Sciences: Art and Design

Profile

Jeffrey Cortland Jones is a painter based in Cincinnati, Ohio and a native of East Tennessee. He received his MFA in painting from the University of Cincinnati in 2000 and his BFA in painting from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1998. He sees painting as a physical activity and a material process rather than as a language that conveys narrative meaning. He is interested in how chance happenings and the union of formal opposites such as geometric versus organic and controlled versus spontaneous, challenge and instruct the work. Jeffrey is represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York.

Image: "Bear Creek Valley." Enamel on acrylic panel, 12 x 12 in. 2011.

Faculty Perspective

The late artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996) kept a postcard image of Sauté la Vide (Leap Into the Void) (1962), a work by French artist Yves Klein (1928-1962), in his studio as a constant reminder to never be afraid to take risks, and to boldly face the world with bravery. I often find myself talking about Gonzalez-Torres. How he worked with such passion and vitality, how committed he was to his work, his family, and his friends, giving himself unconditionally to all. I tell my students about how he continues to teach us even after his death, in a subtle and intelligent manner, about life, love, and loss. 

My fundamental goal for my students is to prepare them for a life-long engagement in the visual arts, and to act as a facilitator and motivator. It is my job to introduce the principles and techniques of design and art making, with particular emphasis on three ideas: the basic formal elements of composition; the process of ideation (idea building, creative problem solving); and an awareness of tools, materials, methods, and craftsmanship. 

My personal commitment to teaching is manifested in the dynamic of the classroom. I seek to create an ongoing dialogue in which students learn, not only from me, but also from developing ideals among themselves. The expectations that I demand of myself as an artist and educator are reflected in the same that I place upon my students: to foster self-discipline and independent thinking, and to do this with the highest standards of quality. My objective is to provoke students to work through meticulous intellectual challenges which I set for them, and adhere to myself. I give my students the opportunity and space to sauté la vide, by providing the arena and freedom to take risks, to grow, and to not be afraid to fail.

Degrees

  • M.F.A., University of Cincinnati
  • B.F.A., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Research Interests

  • Reductive, Minimal, and Non-Objective Abstract Painting
  • The effect of World War II and the Manhattan Project on Abstract Painting