Chicago native, Calvin Bell Jones, first began exhibiting his artistic talent at the age of 12 while a student of Frank L. Gillespie Elementary School. Throughout grammar school and high school, he was the recipient of numerous awards, one of which was a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago where in 1957 he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing/Painting and illustration.

Following college, Jones spent 17 years as an advertising artist in varying capacities at Hallmark Cards, John Plaine Co., CNA and Vince Cullers Advertising as well as his own company, Sales Graphics Advertising.

In time, Jones responded to a gnawing urge to focus his artistic skills exclusively on his painting. Ending a highly successful career in advertising, he became the co-director of the avant-garde AFAM Gallery Studio and Cultural Center in Chicago. In the 1970’s the market value of Jones’ paintings appreciated by orders of magnitude. His paintings have been exhibited in Europe, Mexico, Canada, Africa, and the United States of America. He saw his customer clientele evolve to serious collectors, major corporations, and museums. About that time, while touring America, he saw people would take magazine covers he had done earlier, cut them out, and paste them on their walls as paintings. He concluded that either they could not afford his paintings or were unaware of where to find them.  

In a strategic move to provide easy access to his art in the community, Jones began accepting commissions to do public murals. He painted nine urban murals between 1976 and 1990, in Chicago, IL., Detroit, MI., and Atlanta, GA.

It is interesting to note that during many of these years, Calvin B. Jones was legally blind, eventually receiving cornea transplants to restore his sight in the 1980’s. 

                                          CALVIN B. JONES
                                             (1934 - 2010)