In the Spotlight

Making Noise in Color: An Exhibit by Jason Flack

Making Noise in Color: An Exhibit by Jason Flack

"Making Noise in Color," an exhibit of urban folk paintings by artist Jason Flack, is on display in the Library's Galleria until Friday, Oct. 13.

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Hannah Kiger

Your Library is hosting “Making Noise in Color,” an exhibit featuring the urban folk paintings of Johnson City artist Jason Flack. You can view his bold, vibrant artwork in our Galleria until Friday, Oct. 13.

Flack’s signature style—bright colors and strong black outlines—exhibits a creative daring and energy. His expressionist work gives voice to an unapologetic exploration of racial and cultural issues.

Meet Jason Flack

We’ll hold an artist reception for Flack in the Galleria on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 6-8 p.m. You can meet Flack, learn about his artistic journey, and hear the stories behind the fascinating paintings from the artist himself. Several of the works in the show are on display for the first time.

Call (423) 434-4454 for more information about Flack’s exhibit and reception at the Library.

About Jason Flack

Jason Flack is an award-winning urban folk and expressionist painter, community leader, and speaker. His work is influenced by personal life experiences, as well as cartoons, comic books, and music. He has been an artist for over 30 years, but he was called specifically to painting after the sudden death of his twin sister, Jessica, in 2010.

Since 2010, Flack has used painting as therapy to direct grief into motivation. Entrenching himself in an all-things-art lifestyle, he is a creative energetic force in the Johnson City art scene. Flack is active in local art advocacy and works to bridge the gap between the self-taught and academia. He is native to Johnson City, Tennessee.

View Flack’s work on Instagram.

Jason Flack on His Painting Journey

We got to talk with Jason Flack recently about his artistic journey, about what motivates him and how his approach has evolved over the years.

Why did you begin painting?

I started painting almost immediately after a series of events occurred in my life. I had a brief stint being homeless. I lived in and out of my car and couch-surfed with a friend. This was right after a close friend was sentenced to prison and the sudden loss of my twin sister, Jessica, in 2010. I was given an old paint set by that friend’s mother and I just knew it was a sign. I had always been an artist, but never a painter. Finally, I found a little home in the center of Johnson City where I lived for 10 years. It was there that I decided to put paint on canvas and use tragedy as fuel. I filled that little house with art. Since then, I have been representing local art in Johnson City almost nonstop.

How has your style or approach to painting evolved over the years?

As the years passed, I started to move away from just painting subjects that I was comfortable with—iconic figures, musicians, etc.—and started to move toward capturing emotions in my work, becoming more daring. Often, what I paint is not what is in my own mind, but how I think people feel or want to feel. I hold a mirror up to society with my work and just ask questions.

As far as style, I consider myself to be an art appreciator because I take aspects of many artists’ styles that came before me and render them to make them my own.

Creative confidence is so necessary to have, but it takes time and effort to cultivate and put into action. Action requires a lot of discipline, especially when attempting to spotlight art in a place where it is often misunderstood or dismissed.

Your painting style and subjects are so bold and striking. What inspires the ideas and images in your work?

I am driven by personal experiences, a love of art-making, and the feverish need to rapidly produce.

Often the inspiration comes from some idea I have in an instant, like, “Oh this would look great in these colors.” I use bright colors mostly to grab attention, but also to evoke energy and remembrance.

Sometimes the subjects or characters in my paintings are an accumulation of my life experiences, thoughts, and even conversations that I take to be “finished” in my head in order to really deliver. Once they are complete in my mind, I figure out the time and size to really capture what I want to portray.

I also take inspiration for new paintings from quotes or overheard conversations. Doing that, I stay relevant with the times and can speak for everyday people.

What are some of your hopes for the future of the Johnson City art scene?

I always say, “Support what you love or it goes away”. Early in my journey—and it still remains a major goal for me—I’ve wanted local artists to get their flowers, the recognition and the attention that I feel will one day put us on the map as a reputable area known for its talent. To me, there will be a day when artists who create for our area will be considered early pioneers of what I believe is the Renaissance era of this region.

I used to say the “movement” was on its way. Now, I can see and say that it is no longer approaching, but it is here. There is no better time than now.

The benefits Johnson CIty and its artists could have together in the future could be life changing. To me, there is no better way to indicate that our community is alive and healthy than to see artists making, producing, selling, and promoting art.

If you’re a local artist interested in displaying your work at the Library, click here to submit an application.

Stay up-to-date on what’s displayed in our Galleria by following Johnson City Public Library on Facebook and Instagram!

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