news-category: Visual Arts

‘Exhibit of Work,’ by Gardner-Webb Adjunct Instructor Matthew Jones Featured in Tucker’s Pouryousefi Gallery

two paintings by Matthew Jones, one is a self-portrait and the other is of a child

Show Organized by GWU Exhibition Class on Display Through March 8

By Isabella Brown, ’24, Intern for University Communications

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Matthew Jones, adjunct art instructor in the Gardner-Webb University Department of Communication, Art & Design, presents a gallery show through March 8 in the Ali Pouryousefi Memorial Art Gallery in Tucker Student Center. The opening reception for the exhibit is today (Feb. 16) from 4 to 6 p.m.

Jones said his “Exhibit of Work” is associated with the most important things in his life: his family and child. “All the work is specific to my life and my family, but I hope that everyone can bring their own experiences and relate to them in their own way,” Jones offered.

During his first year at Gardner-Webb, Jones has taught the following classes: Drawing, Figure Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. He has also taught art classes at Cleveland Community College. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University and master’s from The New York Studio School in 2009, he became an art handler at galleries such as Sotheby’s, Broadway 1602, HG Contemporary, and was even a freelancer at various galleries in New York.

Jones shares that these experiences gave him the unique opportunity to see and handle some very famous art works. “I was exposed to great artists like Cézanne, Warhol, Matisse, Soutine. I was handling those works, actually taking them out of the frame and handling them,” he described.

Within his own exhibit, Jones offers a similar way for students to appreciate the depth that lies beyond the frame of a painting. “All of the work is going to be taken out of the frames. My hope is that the students can enjoy how the paintings are made by different layers,” he expressed. “I hope everyone can enjoy the paintings in the way that they are—just paintings. When you take them out of the frame they aren’t these big grandiose things, they are actually just objects that are made by hand.”

As an artist, Jones appreciates the connectivity and empathy of art. “I love that everybody can relate to it,” he continued. “There’s this place in Pompeii called the cave of mysteries. It has some of the oldest surviving paintings ever, and even now, we can relate to simple things in those paintings like the gesture of an arm or the way a figure is standing.”

The exhibition class at Gardner-Webb had the special opportunity to collaborate with Jones in organizing this show. The students have worked hard on the countless details that go into presenting an exhibition like Jones’ ”Exhibit of Work.” They have all taken part in the graphics, positioning lights, sanding and repainting walls, hanging and stretching canvases and much more.

“It helps them learn how to organize the show, how to light the show, present work in a professional way, and promote the show,” informed Jones.

Class member Sarah Bracken, a senior fine arts major, said that this experience has taught her lessons that go beyond the preparation of the exhibition itself. “I would say this has been a learning experience. Not only in technical skills and process, but about myself,” she observed. “I have learned to be patient and endure the obstacles. It’s not about the finished product but about the learning and growing process which creates the story of art.”

She added, “I believe art is important for the story it tells. Art can be one’s outward expression of their inner self. Personally, art is important to me because I view art as an act of worship and communication with God.”

Writer Isabella Brown is a senior English Major.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at


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    graphic with the details about the student show