Jacqueline Jones (Photo by Lonnie C. Major)
Hanging out with her cousin, singer Grace Jones, at a photo shoot in 2001, Jacqueline Jones got all the encouragement she needed to pursue her art interest when a renowned photographer saw some of her travel shots and told her, “You have an eye. Keep shooting.” That moment confirmed for Jones, who is executive director for new product development and strategic partnerships at Kaplan University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and an adventurous traveler, that her lens views were special.
“I wanted to be able to take people places that they might not go. Not everyone wants to walk through the Amazon or go on an African safari, but they do like looking at the pictures,” she says. Before that, the images she brought back from the peak of Huayna Picchu in Peru or of Masai tribe ceremonies in Kenya didn’t seem like artistic expressions to her. “I thought, well, everyone can see what I’m seeing, and should be able to capture it. But I learned it’s important to honor creativity and natural gifts.”
Since then, Jones’ international portraits of fauna, flora, cultural exchanges, and sunsets have been featured at the National Black Arts Festival and published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her marketing background has informed creative and collaborative strategies to showcase her work. She recently partnered with colleague and real estate agent Beatrice Sibblies at Sibblies’ Harlem property, 88 Morningside Ave., for an exhibit called “Ten Years: 2001 to 2011.” A portion of the art sales were donated to Adarsh Alphons Projects, a nonprofit group offering free visual arts training to children in New York City.
In her lifetime of travel, Jones has visited more than 45 countries. With no specific goals about where she’d like her interests to take her, Jones simply expects to continue capturing beautiful imagery and sharing it through her portfolio and blog, www.jjonespics.com.