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Jonathan Green

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Information about Jonathan Green

Profile image of Jonathan Green

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Painter
Printmaker

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Sweet Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
Be happy.

Birthplace

Born:
8/9/1955
Birth Location:
Garden Corners, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Painter
Printmaker

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Sweet Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
Be happy.

Birthplace

Born:
8/9/1955
Birth Location:
Garden Corners
See how Jonathan Green is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Painter and printmaker Jonathan Green is considered one of the most important contemporary painters of the Southern experience. Born on August 9, 1955, in Gardens Corner, South Carolina, Green was the second of seven children. He was raised in the home of his maternal grandmother, Eloise Stewart Johnson, where he learned the Gullah dialect and culture of the coastal Southeast.

Green’s interest in the arts was first nurtured as a student at Beaufort High School. After graduation, Green joined the U.S. Air Force in order to travel and obtain an education. He then attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, receiving a B.F.A. degree in 1982, making him the first known artist of Gullah heritage to receive formal artistic training at a professional art school.

The artwork of Green is heavily influenced by his Gullah heritage with vividly colored paintings and prints documenting everyday chores, in addition to celebrating Gullah life’s rites of passage. By returning his art to his childhood upbringing, Green has created an autobiographical body of work in addition to documenting a vanishing way of life.

Since 1982, Green has participated in four traveling exhibitions throughout the United States and forty-eight solo exhibitions. His work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including The Morris Museum (Augusta, Georgia), The Afro-American Museum of Philadelphia, The Naples Museum of Art (Naples, Florida) and The IFCC Cultural Center (Portland, Oregon). Green has received awards recognizing both his work and his civic contributions. In 1996, Green received an honorary doctorate from the University of South Carolina, the same year a book, Gullah Images: The Art of Jonathan Green, reproducing a large number of his pieces was published. In 2009, Green received the Key of Life Award for his contributions and achievements in the visual fine arts from the NAACP at the organization’s fortieth Image Awards.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jonathan Green Interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green talks about his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jonathan Green talks about his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jonathan Green discusses his grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jonathan Green expresses his opinion about the notion of himself as caulbearer versus innate human intuition and creativity
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jonathan Green talks about his limited exposure to the influence of his grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jonathan Green recounts his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jonathan Green lists his six siblings in birth order
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jonathan Green relates details of his childhood in.Gardens Corner, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jonathan Green talks about his childhood perspective on adult life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jonathan Green examines how his early feelings of homosexuality impacted his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green reflects on the impact of race and sexual identity further impacted his art
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green describes how his grandmother and others helped him come to terms with his homosexuality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jonathan Green describes his hometown, Gardens Corner South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jonathan Green describes his home church, Huspah Baptist
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jonathan Green discusses his family history
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jonathan Green details the origins of his ancestors, the Gullah people
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jonathan Green explains the difference between the Geechie and the Gullah
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jonathan Green examines the relationship between Gullah and African culture
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jonathan Green discusses the linguistic inner workings of the Gullah language
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Jonathan Green details of his secondary education in New YOrk and South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jonathan Green recalls his first impressions of New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green describes his experiences at Beaufort High School in Beaufort, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green details his his demoralizing stint in the Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jonathan Green describes his life and education at the Art Institute in Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jonathan Green discusses his early exposure in the art world
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jonathan Green finds his voice as an artist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jonathan Green creates bridges within Chicago's arts community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jonathan Green accepts a complement for his 'Three Sisters' painting
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green reveals the inspiration for his bright palette choices
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green notes the lack of coursework in African American drwaing at the SAIC
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jonathan Green describes his relationship with Richard Weedman
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jonathan Green discusses Gullah influence behind 'Three Sisters' and other works
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jonathan Green flirts with different painting styles and subject matter
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jonathan Green reveals the inspiration behind several series of paintings
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jonathan Green shares his working style on commissioned pieces fro collectors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jonathan Green details his daily schedule and development of his art studio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jonathan Green describes how he manages his art business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Jonathan Green discusses the market value of his work
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Jonathan Green shares other passions outside of his art
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jonathan Green talks about the appeal of African American art
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green responds to the interviewer's query on his use of the term Afro-American
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green wants to be remembered for his work as an artist