“Afterglow: Art by Jon Whiddon” Exhibit in Hillsborough, NC
The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough and Mike’s Art Truck present “Afterglow: Art by Jon Whiddon” featuring art from the artist’s estate. This will mark the center’s first folk art exhibit from Mike’s Art Truck since Covid restrictions began in 2020. Spanning Jon Whiddon’s brief but intense artistic journey from 1999 to 2008, the exhibition is composed of the unsold work and personal collection that were left to Whiddon’s estate when he passed away in 2008. The art is on display from May 20 through September 8, 2022, at the Alexander Dickson House, the historic building which houses the Hillsborough Visitors Center.
To get through a difficult time in his life, thirty-nine-year-old Jon Whiddon began teaching himself to paint. Using leftover tractor paint and scrap wood, he tried his hand at rendering the open landscapes that surrounded him on his family’s farm in south Georgia. Soon he was working with acrylics and his paintings of big skies and long horizons became energetic with vibrant lines and intense light. Roughly a year later, adapting again to life’s turns, Jon relocated to the Blue Ridge Mountains and greeted his new environment with wonder. His artwork quickly evolved to reflect his new fascination with clouds, and his new attempts at gardening. The paintings grew impressionistic as he began to embrace plein air technique, composing with wet paint to capture the ever-changing light and color in the mountains. In time, Jon’s wide-eyed enthusiasm for new experiences set him on a quest to see the world and to bring it to life in his paintings. He envisioned extended trips to be followed with intense periods of creativity on his return, all with the support of his growing cadre of friends and fans. A hugely successful trip to Italy was followed by another to Bali. In August 2007, shortly after his return from Bali, Jon was diagnosed with cancer. He continued painting and planning until his death on February 20, 2008. On the night of a lunar eclipse, the life of this promising self-taught artist came to a tragic end.
Exhibition artwork is available for purchase directly through Mike’s Art Truck. For information email [email protected], or visit their website at www.mikesarttruck.com. All of the exhibition artwork can be viewed on the same website.
The Alexander Dickson House and Hillsborough Visitors Center is located at 150 E. King St., in downtown Hillsborough. Admission to the exhibit is free and open to the public during regular visitor hours. Free parking is available. For more information about Historic Hillsborough, including the Visitors Center, please visit www.visithillsboroughnc.com.