Napoleon Jones-Henderson

Artadia Awardee

“Jones-Henderson’s practice stretches profoundly around what it means to be human. His interdisciplinary work engages with a spiritual and cultural continuity, which finds strength in the African-American experience. For Jones-Henderson, being an artist is defined by being connected with others, and he is an incredibly generous collaborator, community social activist, and inspirational mentor.” – Juror Martina Tanga

Napoleon Jones-Henderson is an image maker and educator, born in Chicago and currently resides in Roxbury, MA. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and was the recipient of The SAIC Traveling Fellowship Award, and his Master of Fine Arts Degree from Maryland Institute College of Art, and The Brother Thomas Fellowship, Ford Foundation: Artist in Residence Fellow, CFAC. His many commissions and other works exist across disciplines of video, performance, sound, sculpture, and publication; while exhibited nationally and internationally at institutions such as MFA, Boston, ICA, Boston, 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, MOCA, North Miami,Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago, Anacostia Museum and Center, Washington DC, and many other institutions worldwide.

The arc of Jones-Henderson’s work spans various materials from woven tapestry, sound/sculpture, moving images, and 2-D works, all empowered by his ever-present exploration of cultural, ancestral, and ontological systems, unmasked in visual form as nodes of transition that stimulate the senses, awakening one’s spirit through “visual music”, a syncopated rhapsody of colors, shapes, symbols, and rhythms. His current work(s) “Passed On: Requiem for OUR Ancestors” are his mimesis at mid-point, portals to the senses, awakening one’s spirit, enabling communication and engagement between viewer and the work(s). These works symbolize a sacred place for the souls of those whose passing has not been properly honored at their death or those who must be remembered by their community: a place to repose.