Paul Engle center to host Abby Jones work - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Paul Engle center to host Abby Jones work

Cedar Rapids-KWWL)  Abstract expressionist painter Abby Jones will showcase her latest works at a gallery opening at the Paul Engle Center for Neighborhood Arts, 1600 4th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, on Saturday, April 4th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. The Paul Engle Center is handicap-accessible. For more information, call (319) 366-1836.

The artist will be on hand to discuss her work and creative process.

Jones, who studied under artist Hugh Lifson, professor emeritus at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, also cites the paintings of fellow abstract expressionists Jackson Pollock and Steve Joy as influences on her style. "Their works inspire me because they are raw and energetic," Jones said.

Abstract expressionism can be defined as a style expressing the artist's ideas or sensations in a manner that, at first glance, appears to be a random, spontaneous application of paint.

"The idea that abstract expressionists merely splatter paint on a canvas and call it art is really a stereotype," said Ron Adkins, Paul Engle Center board president. "I look at a Pollock or a Mark Rothko and see intent, a motivating energy -- at least on a subconscious level. That same energy is present in the works of Abby Jones."

"I am fascinated with the basic scientific principle that energy is neither created nor destroyed," Jones said. "Energy changes form, from potential energy to kinetic energy and back. I explore the threshold of change -- when potential energy becomes kinetic energy. That energy exists in the creative process of art making as well as life."

Examples of Jones' paintings can be seen online at, and at

The Paul Engle Center for Neighborhood Arts is housed in the former Hladky's Grocery, and is named after Cedar Rapids native Paul Engle, an early director of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop and founder of International Writing Program at the U of I. His work with that program earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In his memoir, A Lucky American Childhood, Engle attributes his time working as a soda jerk at Hladky's Grocery as the start of his writing career. The Paul Engle Center seeks to honor the writer's ideals of creative expression and unconditional inclusion by operating as a meeting place, community resource, art gallery, and performance space.

The event is free and open to the public. Tax-deductible donations to benefit the center - which serves as a meeting place for a variety of arts-related and social functions - will be accepted. For more information call (319) 366-1836.

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