A collection of landscape paintings featuring national parks and other areas around Cedar City is expanding.
The outside of the Southern Utah Museum of Art or SUMA is shaped like a slot canyon, sandstone formations that are found throughout Bryce and Zion National Parks. The outside shape of the museum is a physical reflection of what you will see on the inside, the permanent works of landscape artist Jimmy Jones.
“I would say it draws in a lot of our visitors," said Jessica Farling, director and curator at SUMA. "And I know that just because in the last couple of months since I’ve been here I’ve heard countless people come in and say, 'Where is the rest of Jim Jones’ work? We want to see more.'”
SUMA owns and stores around 50 of his pieces. The current display includes just 2 of his large framed pieces along with his portrait and a display of his workspace and personal effects.
James Aton wrote a biography about Jones titled "The Art and Life of Jimmy Jones."
“When Jimmy was dying he approached the president of the university at the time and said, 'Cedar City needs a new art museum. I’m willing to give my house and everything that I have and the copyright to my work and this final show that I’m working on as seed money if you will commit to building this art museum.'” Alton said.
Aton first met Jimmy Jones in 1980 after moving to southern Utah.
“He knows the landscape," Aton said. "A number of people have told me you can really tell that he has spent a lot of time looking at this place so he knows it in all of its moods. One of the things that distinguishes his artwork is his great sense of distance. He’s able to get that great sense of space here in this landscape that no one has really done quite like Jimmy.”
The expanded collection will include ten additional landscape works and will open later this month in Cedar City.