“River District – Fort Myers, FL – Arts for ACT Gallery
“March 4, 2011 Opening Exhibit and Artists Reception for artists Lennie Jones, Lisa Freidus and William Hofer.
Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, March 4th from 5 to 10 p.m. for the opening reception for the outsider art of Mr. Lennie Jones, the whimsical collages of Lisa Freidus and the downtown Fort Myers photography of William Hofer.
“Back by popular demand, Arts for ACT Gallery is pleased to present the Folk Art Blues of Lennie Jones. Jones is a primitive, self-taught painter of the holistic Blues experience as he envisioned and experienced it.
“As a young boy, his uneducated South Louisiana father instilled a deep love for Blues music, drawing pictures and endless swampy wilderness. His mother, a talented yet erratic artistic, was also an important influence on him. These positive connections cradled him through a very troubled youth that was heavily influenced by a wonderful vibrant one-eyed Southern African-American woman aptly named ‘Tex.’ ‘Tex’ was a full time substitute for his mother, and was a boisterous and soulful lover of Blues, God, booze and fishing.
“Jones became a traveling blues musician around 1968, when he met the incredible Albert King. King’s music moved Jones’ soul. He has opened for the original Canned Heat Blues Band, shaking hands with his idol, Muddy Waters. A gig with Frank Zappa further solidified his love of playing, hearing and living the Blues.
“Unfortunately, the years of continued professional playing resulted mostly in a habitual wrestling match with his alcohol demons and repeated brushes with the law. This struggle culminated with his final arrest following a gig in a rural Southern enclave in 1980. Thrown into a tiny dark jail, he was later chained to an unfortunate black man who had murdered his wife. Early the following morning, the two were paraded on bare feet through several blocks of a small town and presented to a hard time judge. This was Jones’ crossroads and he has never drank alcohol again.
“Only a few years later, miraculously overlooking his ‘shady’ past and welcoming his unique wilderness skills, he was hired by the Federal government as a Ranger in the remote Florida Everglades. There Jones wandered for over twenty years, working alone, chasing poachers, renegade ‘gators, smugglers and other wonderful yet colorful characters!”