Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green
The James River Valley (VA) Chapter of The Links and The Links Foundation, Incorporated, bring to Richmond for the first time, the Columbia City Ballet’s critically acclaimed, Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green. This dynamic performance leaps onto the stage of the Carpenter Theatre at the Dominion Energy Center.
March 4, 2022, at 7:30pm.
Honorary co-chairs of this benefit performance are actress and philanthropist, Daphne Maxwell Reid, the Richmond Ballet’s artistic director, Stoner Winslett, actor and director Tim Reid and Kym Grinnage, VP & Gen. Mgr. WWBT/NBC12 & WUPV/CW.
The James River Valley (VA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated embraces Gullah culture with William Starrett’s original repertoire, “Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green.” The ballet, conceived and choreographed by Starrett, was created in 2005 as a tribute to the world-renowned award-winning artist Jonathan Green, known for his vibrantly colorful art depicting Gullah life in South Carolina’s Lowcountry coast. When describing the inspiration for his art, Green says, “While the southern soul is often portrayed as angst or peace, the southern spirit is filled with creative healing energy, always evolving and growing in its creativity and adaptability. While there are pains in life and survival, I view the South today as appropriating the best of its cross-cultural heritage constructing a new sense of place and an enhanced sense of purpose.”
About the Artist - Jonathan Green, Painter and Printmaker
Bold patterns and vivid solids in red, yellow or green play in a world of dance halls, beaches, schoolrooms, and churches. Jonathan Green's vibrantly colorful art is the quintessential rendering of Gullah life on South Carolina's Lowcountry coast. Green learned the Gullah dialect and culture as a child growing up in the home of his maternal grandmother in the 1960's. As the first known artist of Gullah heritage to receive fromal training at a professional art school, the Art Institute of Chicago, Green has created more than 1,700 works of art that capture in one way or another the unique African-Amewrican culture he considers his own. While this body of work surely represents the most ambitious artistic expression of the Sea Island culture ever successfully undertaken, to Jonathan, recalling on canvas the feel, texture, and color of a rapidly disappearing way of life is simply a labor of love - with just a hint of social responsibility. "I know I can't save a whole culture," he says with a sigh, "but I can help create greater awareness."