From running his newly opened gallery in Jonesboro to creating art pieces for homes in Palm Springs, it’s clear to see that Beau Jones is here to stay—and slay.
WORDS / JULIA M. TRUPP
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
On a cool winter evening, canvases filled with bright, contrasting colors line the walls of Brick and Mortar Gallery in Rogers. People with masked faces mingle in the corridor near the refreshments table, in line for their next glass of cabernet. Beau Jones, the evening’s featured artist, cuts a captivating figure in all black, save for a pink-and-electric-blue-striped jacket that pops like one of his paintings.
“I think a nice statement jacket is always a must,” he said. “Sometimes I can have the most basic outfit on, but if I put on an amazing jacket with it, it can be a major game changer.”
That night at Brick and Mortar was only one of many openings for Jones, who is known as BEAUTOX in the art world. He’s participated in juried shows and festivals in cities across the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, and most recently Jonesboro, where he opened his own gallery, Perspective Gallery + Framing, on April 30.
“Still on Cloud Nine from [opening] night, honestly; seeing how things were last year compared to now. I’m so hopeful for the future of art shows, and I couldn’t have asked for a better opening show.”
Jones’s concept for Perspective was inspired by how we view art. Because art is subjective, Jones explains, its meaning and significance all come down to one’s perspective. The gallery space, formerly a yoga studio, is located in downtown Jonesboro. Perspective showcases both local and national art, and offers convenient on-site framing for artists and patrons alike.
Creative minds run in Jones’s family—his grandfather was a painter, and his mother is an interior designer (she worked with him to design Perspective). Jones has been interested in art since he was a child. He took art lessons and participated in advanced art classes as he got older, eventually showing some of his high school classwork at the Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, winning Arkansas Young Artists Association awards and receiving an art scholarship to Arkansas State University. But he didn’t pursue formal training for long. During his junior year of college, he had a revelation.
“I just had my first big art show in Jonesboro, and people were starting to take interest in my work. I remember leaving class that day and texting my parents asking if I should just drop out and focus on art.”
His parents “surprisingly agreed,” encouraging him to work hard to make a career out of it.
“So that’s exactly what I did! I think as a society we need to kill the phrase ‘starving artist’ because it keeps so many talented artists from making it their career. It can be scary at first, but if you work hard enough, market yourself and have the talent, trust me: it will all work out in the end.”
The challenges of quarantine and 2020 didn’t keep Jones from connecting with the art community, even though many of his shows that year were cancelled. He created paint kits, which included canvases with a hand-drawn outline and custom bag of paint and brushes, for people to paint along with him on Instagram Live.
Jones’s art varies depending on the medium he’s in the mood to use. While he primarily works in acrylic, he also dabbles in watercolor, pastel, pencil, ink and oil, “which is a medium I want to use more, but the drying time kills me!” His pieces, however, are universally and immediately captivating. BEAUTOX pieces are as recognizable as those of his inspirations: Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
As for what’s next, Jones has quite the year ahead of him and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He recently announced an artist collaboration with Worlds Away, a Memphis-based furniture company, as well as Home Goods, Marshall’s and T. J. Maxx. He is also planning traveling shows across the US, and bringing back ICONS: The Exhibit, one of his favorite shows, in Jonesboro, Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas.
“I’ve grown a lot as a person and businessman with BEAUTOX,” he said. “I am working for myself, [and] sometimes it can be challenging knowing what decisions to make for yourself. But it all comes with time and experience. ‘I’m just getting started’ is a phrase that I always remind myself [of]; it’s what motivates me to keep going.”
Visit BEAUTOX and Perspective Gallery + Framing at 323 South Church St. in Jonesboro.
IG // @BEAUTOX_ART + @PERSPECTIVEGALLERY_
FB // Beautox Art + P E R S P E C T I V E