Artist Jonathan Green to Visit AMHS

If you’ve grown up in Charleston, South Carolina, then it’s very likely you’ve at least heard of local artist Jonathan Green.  Green is known around the country for his colorful portrayals of West African roots and the Gullah culture that has shaped so much of the Carolina coastline.  Jonathan Green grew up in rural Garden’s Corner, South Carolina with his seven brothers and sisters.  His childhood in a Gullah community is reflected in his paintings; with illustrations of the simple moments, chores, and lifestyles of the people around him.  Although Green is now considered one of the most important and influential artists of the South, it wasn’t until Green was older that he realized the significance of his Gullah heritage.  Green first discovered a passion for art while attending Beaufort High School, but initially doubted his ability to make a living off doing what he loved.  After high school, Green joined the U.S Air Force in the hopes of working as an illustrator.  Although this endeavor didn’t work out quite as he had hoped, it pushed him to attend a small technical college in Minnesota where he could further develop his artistic gifts.  His professors were immediately impressed with his talent and encouraged him to apply to an arts school where he could work towards making a career out of his artwork.  In 1982, Green graduated with a bachelors degree in fine arts from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.

In many ways, Green attributes his passion for the southern experience to his Gullah heritage.  His paintings reflect the history and culture of the African American South, and his experiences growing up in the Gullah community.  His vibrant and somewhat cubist styled paintings illustrate the everyday historical, and present day struggles of African Americans in the South–particularly the Geechee people.  Green is currently based in a small studio on Daniel Island, South Carolina, where he continues to paint the culture of the Gullah South.  He also works to share the value of arts education with others and encourage young people to share their experiences and find a voice in the world.

Artist Jonathan Green will be visiting Academic Magnet on February 2, at 9:30 am.  We look forward to hearing what Mr. Green has to share with our student body here at Academic Magnet High School.

Below are a few of his beautiful and vibrant paintings.