Bobbie Rae Jones
Involved in drawing since the 1990s, I studied architectural drafting in high school and my first years at Modesto Jr. College. Moving to Arcata and attending College of the Redwoods, I quickly realized I am no architect, but an artist. At Humboldt State University, I trained in painting and studied Art History. In 2003, I began study in the lovely town of Chico at the California State University. Not only did I study art in the academia, but various dance forms in the community including African dance and drum. A culturally rich existence had come alive in me and blossomed. Music and singing have remained a constant throughout the years.
In Quincy I gave birth to two beautiful children naturally at home. The first was proudly born with three midwives and a frank breech presentation. I had been practicing meditation for several years at this point and here is where I discovered imagery and what you present to the community and public around you is key to how one imagines and create one’s life. I hear that in America, we don’t put a lot into the unseen, and put weight into what is “real” and what can be physically measured. In that small mountain community I realized focusing on the unseen can become what is “real.”
Tribal Belly dancing and breastfeeding while gossiping with other lactating mothers became my new occupation. I gave birth to another fabulous, strong smart and healthy baby and for several years, I spent warm moments besides creeks surrounded by the sweet smell of pines, under the deep blue of high-altitude mountain sky or cozied-up near a wood-burning stove. Fiber Arts, specifically knitting pre-occupied my hands and I studied the best way to grow happy people with courses in early childhood education at Feather River college, receiving certificates for Montessori, Infant Massage and creating a Waldorf Inspired lifestyle. The Art of Homemaking was my inspiration, laughter and baked breads warmed my home.
In 2011, I moved back to Chico, studied Acupuncture and Herbs, practiced massage and took pre-nursing classes at Butte college. I also began the life-long love of teaching people how to access inner core strength through Pilates. Before I knew it, I had slipped back into the vortex of a college town, sucked back into the demands of student life. At the University, I masterfully completed a Bachelors of Arts with options in Studio Art and in Art Education. I illustrated for the award-winning Orion newspaper, learned how to use many software programs for art, curate and exhibit art, build a website, write standards-based lesson plans for culturally diverse art education, and most importantly, I learned how to create art in a variety of media. All this, while barely keeping up on laundry, groceries, cleaning , but always, and most importantly, genuinely sharing a grand meal with my half-grown children and family.
For many years in Butte and Plumas County, I exhibited art work in galleries, cafes, restaurants and accomplished many commissioned pieces. I continue to practice massage, teach Pilates, make and teach art. I am currently in a graduate program for a Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies for Art Education at CSU Chico. Last semester, I created a lot of art with other students in various studio classes and imbued myself in the art departments as a teachers assistant in high schools and college-level drawing courses.
This semester, I continue to imbue myself in Chico Unified School district assisting and observing the Fine Arts teacher. My current study is grappling with loss and death for a series of paintings I am creating to exhibit as part of my culminating project. The other half of the culminating project is to create unit plans for Pre-K through older adult with a write-up for my thesis. Along with my graduate work, I continue to practice massage, teach Pilates and mother my two growing children. I involve myself in as many community-service and community-building projects as I can.
Bobbie Rae Jones
September 26, 2017
And so my story continues as it is the summer of 2018 and I have recently completed my time at California State University Chico and am recreating my life as a non-student. With four degrees (two Associates, a Bachelors of Arts and Masters in Art Education), training as a masseuse and a Pilates instructor, I continue on with my life as a dharma practitioner and as a newly defined artist and art educator. I’ve begun participating in the local art world, volunteering at the MONCA and applying myself to show my work in various exhibitions. I’ve also begun volunteering to support the local community organizations that are helping the homeless population to find housing, by teaching art one-on-one to individuals. From my art studio, I have begun to teach art as well as continue to create paintings for exhibition. My recent study in the MFA studios at CSU Chico has inspired a series of paintings, that I wish to explore and expand upon. I have realized my purpose as an artist, and have found value in myself and my contributions to my community.
June 23, 2018