Fay Jones paints playful and provocative images using a rich and eclectic vocabulary filled with a variety of characters. Influenced by her roots in surrealism and growing up surrounded by poets and writers, her subject matter alludes to comical and unpredictable narratives. Instead of finding meaning through word association, she develops meaning by provoking visual associations. Her imagery is symbolist and dreamlike. This intuitive approach directs the viewer into ambiguity to consider juxtaposition and plot, while expressing the most ethereal of references.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Fay Jones received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1957. Awards she has received include the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors grant in 2013, the Seattle Art Museum’s 2006 Poncho Artist of the Year award, grants from the NEA in 1983 and 1990, the Washington State Arts Commission in 1984, and La Napoli Art Foundation in 1989. Her work has been extensively collected in the Northwest, and is included in the collections of the Portland Art Museum and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Oregon, and the Seattle Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington, as well as the Cities of Seattle and Portland. Major exhibitions include a 2007 retrospective at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University, a 1997 traveling retrospective with the Boise Art Museum, and exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, WA, the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, and the Palm Springs Desert Museum in California.