Eric Jenkins, A Forty-Two Year Journey in Art Education, Gallery Exhibit
June 12, 2017
After more than 40 years, the beloved Miami Jackson Senior High School art teacher, Eric G. Jenkins is looking forward to the next chapter of his journey, this time as a full time artist. Mr. Jenkins has dedicated his entire career to inspiring and motivating his students to pursue their passion for art. A "42-Year Journey in Art Education" exhibit is a compilation of his career along with his own work. The exhibit is on display at Miami International University of Art & Design through July 15, 2017.
The exhibit includes 21 pieces, three of which are Mr. Jenkins’ own works featuring African American funk music greats such as James Brown and Otis reading. The rest of the exhibit consists of 18 works from his student collection, all of them purchased from his students throughout the decades.
The student pieces, many of which were done using basic pencil, color pencil and ink, showcase their raw talent, skill and creativity. The pieces are vibrant and detailed. They express and capture real human emotion while showcasing the deep influence that culture and music had on both the students and Mr. Jenkins.
"At the end of each school year, there were pieces that I was impressed by and so, I would ask the students if they wanted to sell them to me,” says Mr. Jenkins. He shares that many of his students wanted to donate their work instead, but he insisted purchasing their art because it showed them the importance of valuing your craft as an artist. Mr. Jenkins will focus his attention to his own work full time, something he is looking forward to doing. “As an art teacher, I rarely had time to focus on my work. My focus was my students and ensuring that they had my attention and support,” Mr. Jenkins.
The exhibit is on display until July 15th and will end with a closing reception on that day celebrating four decades of Mr. Jenkins’ commitment to teaching and his own alma mater.
In Search of Freedom, John Lopez, Acrylic 1986
Otis Redding, Eric Jenkins, Acrylic 1972
Queen of Clubs, Wibur Ortiz, Pen & Ink, 1985
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