Althea Jones: Skin Color
Skin Color is a conversation about the beautiful spectrum of skin tones beyond the concepts of race and therefore class. Through lighthearted conversations and interactions with the artist, Althea Jones, participants are encouraged to see more in their skin color.
During the Skin Color sessions, Althea invites individuals or small groups to engage in lively and enriching conversations about life, connection, identity, and race while color matching the participants specific skin color with acrylic paint. The goal of the project is to encourage self-love and actualization while simultaneously building community. Althea plans to color match at least 1000 people in and around the Akron, Ohio area over the life of this project.
Skin Color was conceptualized in early 2023 after Althea encountered a container of peachy ink labeled “skin color.” As a BIPOC artist, this label caused Althea to pause. She began to question her personal relationship with her own identity and skin color alongside mainstream marketing and societal implicit bias. Skin Color seeks to explore the ability to celebrate skin tone differences while healing an instance of implicit bias in a unique and positive way.
The color-matching sessions will occur at partner institutions and pop-up experiences throughout Summit County from June through August 2023. Akron Soul Train’s CapSOUL gallery will host Jones’ interactive exhibition Skin Color from August 1 through September 9, 2023. The installation will include a wall of “skin pantones” and jars of individualized color that will more accurately live up to the ink titled “skin color.”
Althea Jones is an interdisciplinary artist based in Northeast, Ohio. Inspired by the human condition, Althea uses her work to explore human nature and emotions. She believes in the concept of perfect imperfection and enjoys creating work from discarded items and lively strokes, scrapes and splashes of paint.
Althea developed her passion for art as a child and rekindled her love affair with the creative world after leaving her corporate career. She enjoys all manners of creativity including poetry, street photography, textiles and painting. Since 2017 Althea has been searching for her authentic voice and developing her art practice. She has enjoyed a grass roots approach to art, showing, selling and creating both traditional sized canvases and large format murals in restaurants, coffee shops, abandoned buildings and street corners in the US Northeast.
In 2022, Althea took a leap of faith and enrolled in the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art at the University of Akron where she is seeking a BFA. With the support of a village of educators and professionals, she is exploring a variety of art medium and conceptual ideas.
"Skin Color" was made possible through ArtsRISE a grant provided by state tax dollars through the Ohio Arts Council. The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.
Art Supplies generously provided by Blick Art Materials.