February 25, 2016

March Exhibit: Jay Carlton

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You are here:March Exhibit: Jay Carlton
February 25, 2016

We are excited about our March exhibit of resident artist Jay Carlton’s work. Since he moved into Willow he has been making some really powerful pieces centered around social issues in America. Each piece displays Jay’s view of a different subject in bright and bold colors layering acrylic, ink, and colored pencil. Here is Jay’s statement of the work:


Along with creating Children’s Art for the Apocalypse, I am the creator of a greeting card line called “Mr. Ferguson’s Greeting Cards”. Both the style and concepts of the cards are positive and the images express a childlike, hope filled playfulness. My intention with the cards was always to put a smile on someone’s face and help us remember the importance and priority of friends and family. Although I continue to believe and invest in the goodness of human nature, since becoming a father, I am also being more and more affected by what I perceive is a growing and frightening pattern of violence, hatred, and ignorance infiltrating our shrinking and fragile world.

Although the first piece in the series I created, titled “Wednesday”, was completed in January of 2016, the seeds inside Children’s Art for the Apocalypse were sown 4 or 5 years ago, about the time my son was born and about the time Trevon Martin was shot and killed while walking home from a convenience store. Even though the senseless killing of an innocent teenage boy by a paranoid grown man was tragic, what was more disturbing was that it was deemed acceptable and understandable in an American court of law. Like many, I was left speechless and bewildered, wondering who we were becoming as a society. Things have not gotten better. Since that time, there have been numerous unjustified killings by law enforcement officers, catastrophic scientific projections concerning global warming, countless mass shootings, real potential for financial collapse, and a political system that is completely out of control.

My belief the we love will conquer all as expressed through the whimsical imagery in Mr. Ferguson’s Greeting Cards has collided head-on into a seemingly lost world with an ominous, unpredictable, and violent future. Through Children’s Art for the Apocalypse am trying to make sense of the idea that life is good while simultaneously being devoured by a little voice in my head that whispers “This is not going to end well.”

About the author:

McKenzie is a jewelry designer and artist at Willow Lane. She makes mixed metal jewelry for everyday wear along side her snoozing greyhound Hotwire.