Janice Guinan explains details of her portrait of Willena Jones to Truro Mayor Bill Mills during town council’s June meeting on Monday. The town purchased the artwork to be displayed as part of its permanent art collection. Jason Malloy – Truro Daily News
Town buys portrait of former Truro educator Jones
- Published on June 8th, 2010
TRURO – A portrait of a well-respected educator and community leader will soon adorn the walls of Truro’s civic building.
The town purchased the painting of Willena Beatrice Jones to add to its permanent art collection.
“It was an honour and a privilege to attempt to paint this absolutely wonderful lady,” said Bible Hill artist Janice Guinan.
She was “such a wonderful role model for us all and such a treasure for us to celebrate that I really desired to do a portrait of her.”
Jones, who passed away on Feb. 22, 2010, was the first African Nova Scotia woman to teach in Truro schools after graduating from the Nova Scotia Teachers College at age 60.
The portrait shows Jones in a classroom setting wearing one of her favourite scarves, with a couple books, including the Bible and one written by her granddaughter, and a Nova Scotia flag on her desk. The words faith, family, community and education are written on the blackboard of the portrait.
“At a time when many people are thinking about slowing down, she had a new beginning,” said Guinan, who marvelled at how Jones fulfilled a dream by standing on a glacier at the age of 90.
The painting is currently on display at the McCarthy Hall Gallery on the Truro campus of the Nova Scotia Community College. It is part of the art acquisition show, where 16 artists have 36 pieces on display. The show, which runs until June 25, is open to the public Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The town’s art acquisition committee, which consists of town councillors, artists and members of the public, judged the entries and decided to purchase the Jones portrait.
The town has purchased a piece of art that depicts the historic and artistic development of Truro each year since the show began in 2006. The collection can be viewed at the civic building Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The town is currently looking for the best location in town hall to permanently display the collection, which includes art depicting Victoria Park, heritage homes and the town’s rich train history.