Parker County Today May 2018 - Page 32

our artwork: JIMMY JOE JENKINS BY MEL W RHODES T When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Great Art he course of a life can turn on a dime. Muralist Jimmy Joe Jenkins, 50, will tell you that. He’s seen that. Is proof of that. One night nearly four years ago as he rode a bike near 5th and Throckmorton streets in downtown Fort Worth, the lights went out. He awoke looking up at police officers who were looking become heavily involved in the ‘rat race’ — because in general none of us come with instructions or have any idea what we’re doing. We’re just trial and error. And people get to the point where they start having to do things just because you have to live … you’re caught into doing anything you can just to survive and to live. I’ve always been a spiritual person, but this changed my view of this reality.” One of the most amazing things about Jimmy is that he has only been doing murals for a year and a half. They look too good. His talent is undeniable. He owned Fort Worth Screen Printing in Cowtown for 20 years and did graphic design, but the murals are his broad step into the art world. He’s halfway through the first series of murals — there will be 12 in all constituting one story — and intends to write a companion book to be used in interpreting or understanding the work. “The idea is that when people get the book they can go to each mural and look at the page — like the butterfly. The butterfly is the first in the story of our life and how we come from the egg to the pupa and we transform and we fly. And then at the end of our journey, all the monarchs fly to a place in Mexico, and they’ve never been there and they’ll never return. It’s kind of like where we go — we 30 Jimmy told them he must have crashed and knocked himself out; but they had another explanation for his sudden stop. They said they suspected Jimmy had been the target of a gang initiation, that he’d been attacked. “The surgeon said someone bashed me in the head and crushed my face with a board or blunt object,” Jimmy said. “It was Cinco de Mayo and probably just an initiation into a gang. But I didn’t even know that I had been beaten because I was unconscious. The only thing I do remember is the noises being made as my face was being crushed. If you eat a raw carrot — you know that noise it makes through your head? — That’s what it sounds like when your face is being crushed.” Following two surgeries, Jimmy ended up with five plates in his face and wiring in his jaws. There was pain, both physical and psychological. But Jimmy prefers not to dwell on his misfortune; he is happy that his worldview and understanding of life has evolved, changed. As for his art: “Some of it is my PTSD, and some of it is just the ^BHYH^HYH[Hܛ\[YKHY\]\HB][XH[^HXY]YH[X\]HY\ \[[Y] 'B[[^HZY][܈H[Y[x&YY[8']B]XZH[XH[K]Y[HY]Hو]B]X]H\\YΈ]\ ܚۈ][H\[]Y\[Y