As museums and galleries around the world closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, street art and murals offer color and inspiration to those venturing outside.
Beau Jones, a local artist from Jonesboro, is known for his bold, abstract paintings called Beautox Art. Jones recently completed a lip mural for ART HOUSE, an art gallery in downtown Jonesboro that is collaborating with eight local artists to create eight separate 9-by-6 foot murals that people can use as a backdrop for photo opts on the corner of Monroe and Main Street.
After seeing the response to the murals in a time that has been difficult for many, Jones has decided to give back by painting three additional free murals.
“I saw all these people on social media taking pictures with my art. I want to do something that brings joy during a difficult time, so I thought about what if I magnified this with some sort of giving back with art through murals,” Jones says. “Anyone can go see it at any time.”
At the end of March, there was also an EF-3 tornado that wreaked havoc in Jonesboro.
“Especially after the tornado and with more free time than usual since some of my art shows were cancelled due to the virus, this is the perfect time for me to give back,” says Jones.
Although Jones has always had a passion for art, it was not until his junior year at Arkansas State University as a marketing and advertising major when he decided to create Beautox Art. Inspired by current trends and graffiti art, Jones’s paintings add pops of color and beauty to homes and businesses in Northeast Arkansas. He is also influenced by artists such as Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Picasso.
Individuals and business owners interested in a Beautox mural should submit photos of their outdoor wall to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include name, number and location. The deadline for submissions is May 29 and the three mural winners will be announced on June 15. Winners will be able to choose from the following five designs.
Jones hopes to mobilize his artwork into other areas of Arkansas and across the country. He is also currently working on potentially hosting a virtual art gallery showcase this summer. Jones has been collaborating with another local artist, Cindi Zimmerman, on a collection of abstract faces. Originally, Jones and Zimmerman were scheduled to showcase their work at the “IN YOUR FACE: THE EXHIBIT” on June 5 at Art House in Jonesboro and June 11 at Brick and Mortar in Rogers. Although adjustments have to be made in response to the pandemic, Jones and Zimmerman are planning a way to get “in your face” without physically getting “in your face.”
“During a time of darkness and uncertainty, I think it is vital for people to step up, no matter who you are, and do your part in the best way possible,” Jones says.