Beloit College

It wasn’t until I attended Beloit College that I became seriously interested in the making of art.  I had been exposed to a lot of art by the efforts of my mother and father although the bias was towards music not the  visual arts.  I grew up playing music but while at Beloit I discovered my love of materials and their manipulation.  I was majoring in Biology but spent far to much time in the Art Department; welding.  I did graduate but got sidetracked by the draft and a two year stint in the Army.

Murray State

Following my service,  I spent a year in the Masters of Art studio art program at Murray State University.  That year was a productive one in both printmaking and sculpture culminating in a two man show “The House” with art professor Robert Manley. Basketball, which I’d played in college and the Army still had allure and put me in Portugal playing ball and doing photography and collage.  I produced enough work for an exhibit of collage in the Galeria Opinao, Lisbon, Portugal. 

Mass College of Art

Once back in the states, I became more involved politically in the Somerville, Massachusetts community.  With time on my hands and GI bill money, I completed an MFA in Printmaking and Media Studies at Massachusetts College of Art, concentrating on posters, independent Super-8 film and video production. 

My involvement in Mass Art and The Arts and Human Services project plus my interest in playing folk music ultimately kindled a desire to make musical instruments. This pursuit eventually made it possible to make a living economically.  This resulted in an extended hiatus from  art making. 

James Jones Instruments – Bedford, VA

Over the last 36 years of full time effort,  I created James Jones Instruments and have made countless number and kinds of acoustic musical instruments; notably hammered dulcimers.  I have never lost interest in the arts, but as I age and slow down, I’m going to try to spend a little more time “being creative”.   This site has a lot of archived historical work from the past but will grow as I generate new work.

James Jones
Stringing a hammered dulcimer