By Juan Calvillo
The Vincent Price Art Museum will showcase Toy Jones’ sculptures as part of the exhibit, “Catalyst” during the Festival of the Arts event. Jones comes from an artistic family on her father’s side, Silas Jones.
Her father was inspired to name her “Toy” from a play that he wrote.
Jones has three pieces that will be exhibited in the “Catalyst” exhibit.
Jones’ three sculptures are all based on her love of nature.
She said that at a very early age she started getting into art.
One of the first times she remembered using art to express herself was when she went to the Los Angeles Zoo and returned home to draw the animals there.
She said that she did this almost in an attempt to free the animals within the cages.
“I think in a lot of ways the art and the political side of me was starting to come at an early age, and that was one of the first memories that I have of ever really committing to doing a drawing,” Jones said.
Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, she remembers climbing on her roof and taking in the view of the mountains in the distance.
She said that being a city person, she can’t really explain how she became so connected to nature. “I’ve always had a connection with nature and animals,” said Jones. She said that nature has always resonated with her and that it was a big part of her. “That’s my church so to speak,” said Jones.
When it comes to her art, she said that it is mostly intuitive.
Her process comes from the concept of the piece she wants to create, and that her intuition tells her where she wants to go with what she is working on.
Her connection to nature and intuition are displayed in the three sculptures she contributed to the “Catalyst” exhibit at the VPAM. The pieces are “Gaia in Exile,” “Equilibrium” and “Maelewano.”
The President and Vice President of the Art and Animation club mentioned the intensity and attraction that came with “Maelewano.”
Jones explained that the idea for the piece, a mask, came to her after visiting the “Striking Iron” the Art of African Blacksmiths exhibit at the Fowler Museum at University of California Los Angeles.
Jones said that “Maelewano” is Swahili for harmony.
She said that it had its roots in non-human supernatural forces and they played into everyday life.
Jones said that the mask, “also represents global unity, man’s ties to nature, as well as the role we play in the natural world.”
Having her art be a part of the “Catalyst” exhibit is special to Jones.
She said that any artist gets a good feeling seeing the things that they put their energy, sweat and time into.
Jones said her own feelings were, “almost surreal. It’s exciting and surreal. And it just makes me want to produce more and get more exposure.”