Art, Health and Education have always been at the center of what I do. Several years of creating mixed media pieces lead me to explore the potential of art to empower and change lives. I have had many defining moments that have made me who I am today.
One of the jobs I held while in college was working with a non-profit organization, by the name of Iowa Center for AIDS Resources and Education. They provided prevention, education and counseling services to the residents of Johnson County. As a graphic design consultant I was tasked with creating a marketing campaign that would not only generate funds for education and counseling but also put the organization on the map at a national level. I designed a handmade book using local materials, and collaborating with several nationals I created and published a book that featured fourteen stories of families that had been impacted by this disease. Bono, a musician and well-known activist in the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa was visiting the Midwest to commemorate World AIDS day. We were honored to present the book to him to showcase our hard work and dedication.
My next defining moment was when I had the opportunity to be a part of a partially funded Public Health Study Aboard Program in The Gambia, West Africa, to perform research on my graduate thesis –The hypothesis of my thesis was: How can art educate the public on health issues? "Cloth as a tool of communication" was my thesis topic I hold dear to my heart and entailed researching and designing culturally and religiously sensitive materials. Cloth is used not only to clothe or adorn but to also communicate messages. My target audience was women, who are seen as a Mothers, a Workers and Educators, in African societies. This experience taught me firsthand how to design for the user. I had to liaise with a translator to ensure graphics and words were appropriate to my audience. I learnt how to be empathetic to my audience.
© 2017 Belindah Jones - All Rights Reserved.