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LA FRANJA: Solo Exhibition by Jon Green

LA FRANJA: Solo Exhibition by Jon Green

Opening Reception: June 8, from 5-9pm
June 8 – July 31, 2024


I begin by acknowledging the First Nations and Original Peoples of St. Pete and Pinellas County, who had their land taken. I acknowledge that I benefit from colonized land. This space exists on the ancestral lands of Tocobaga, Calusa, Miccosukee, Seminole and Weeden Island Peoples. These people thrived in tandem with the land for generations before their land was taken and settled by colonizers. As someone who descends from both the colonizer and colonized, I commit to educating and raising awareness to the reality of colonization. I am committed to re-matriating the land and raising awareness that our communities are the beneficiaries of this stolen land. I am committed to honor and pay homage to the Native peoples of this land as well as my own ancestors. GRACIAS: The ideas that make up the genesis for this project have been circulating in my head since 2015. Being able to turn these ideas into a finished, tangible product always seemed out of reach both conceptually and logistically. It was amazing to see this project go from an Idea to community project that required countless hands and labor; With that said I’d be remiss to not give a special thanks to those who made this project possible.
Gracias to mi compadre and mentor in art history Dr. Hipolito Rafael Chacon; thank you for teaching me that history is a multitude of perspectives, and that the canon should always be questioned, not ignored. Special thanks to Trey Hill and Julia Galloway; for teaching me that sometimes the poetic is political and the political is poetic. Special thanks to Kyra Connolly for the countless hours spent cutting, attaching, and cleaning up tiles. The scale of work in this show simply would not be possible without your help. Special thanks to Kodi Thompson for the unending support throughout my time in St. Pete. This residency program would not be the same without you. Special thanks to my fellow Artist-In-Residence Dakota Parkinson, Amy Sanders, Jordan Kramer, and Erica Bleu for putting up with me and my tangents. Special thanks to Gretch McCloy for the last minute painting touch up and final coat. You saved the day. Special thanks to Jensyn Gagne, Reegan Depasque, Lily Denhoff and Cody Clark for all of your assistance with the tiles, marketing and photos. Y’all are amazing and you make me look too good. Muchas gracias to mi familia, the inspiration for everything I make, and especially mi abuelita Lydia Armida Caloca-Green, for always believing in us and encouraging our family to be proud of our Mexican, Spanish, Indigenous and American Heritage.
¡Viva Mi Gente!
I aim to explore the fragile boundaries of my blurred personal identity within the diverse multi-ethnic background of the Americas. My studio practice is explained as both a question and a statement; a curiosity of my ethnic identity and a pride in my Mexican-American heritage. Decorative patterning and bright colors are sourced from Mestizo prints of colonial Latin-America to represent the convergence of ethnic and cultural ideas that make up the Americas. This history is paired with personal symbolism that subverts traditional expectations of Latino communities. La Franja explores the arbitrary nature of borders within the context of my Identity as a second-generation Mexican-American. Green paint was used to reference Francis Alys’s walking performance “The Green Line.” In this piece, Alys walks the entire demarcation line set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War with a leaking can of Green Paint. This line was drawn on a map with a green grease pen and when scaled up represents a strip of land 60-80 meters wide. La Franja translates to “The Fringe” and represents both this strip of land and the historical patterning that has existed on the margins since the colonization of the Americas. This work represents a personal narrative as a second-generation Chicano, and is an homage to the elaborate and diverse Latin American Craft-traditions before and after colonization.

Born in a Mexican-American family, Jon Green is entertained by the absurd nature of the American-Dream. He completed his BFA at the University of Montana with a minor in Art History, and worked as a studio assistant for Julia Galloway, Casey Zablocki, and Anton Alvarez. Jon has completed Residencies at Red Lodge Clay Center, Medalta Clay District, and Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY. Jon Green is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Morean Art Center where his work continues to pay homage to the craftspeople and merging customs of the Americas through aggrandizing objects and ornamentation.