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A photographic portrait of Jonathon Romain

Biography

 

From the defining brushstrokes of an eclectic creator to the compelling story of rebirth through art, Jonathon Romain captures the essence of resilience and transformation. His artistic voyage is a testament to the power of second chances and the profound impact art can have on communities.


A transcendent figure in the American art scene, Romain has garnered acclaim for his multifaceted work, from commissioning a portrait of the esteemed comedian Richard Pryor for the Peoria Riverfront Museum to his celebration of Clemson University's 50 years of desegregation. With four powerful paintings entitled "People of Color" prominently displayed at the Woodruff library in Atlanta and moving pieces created for Unity Point Methodist Hospital in Peoria, IL, his work resonates with a narrative of diversity and unity.


His dynamic presence extends beyond the canvas; Romain has been featured on BET Television and shared the screen with Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network Channel. His contributions to the arts have been highlighted across several news affiliates nationwide. Jonathon is also an accomplished author who celebrated the artistry of over fifty artists across the country through his tabletop book "Change That Narrative".


Beyond his personal artistic achievements, Romain is a thriving philanthropist co-founding ART INC., a non-profit arts organization. His passion for community engagement led him to revitalize a 50,000-square-foot school building, fostering a sanctuary for arts in his community.


Romain's pieces have traveled extensively, with exhibitions at prestigious venues such as The Studio Museum in Harlem, The African American Museum in Dallas, The Museum of Science and Industry, and The DuSable Museum, both in Chicago, as well as the National Black Fine Art Show in New York. His iconic "Great Day in Bronzeville" photograph uniquely immortalizes a collective of nearly 150 black artists.


Recognition of his extraordinary talent and contributions includes being named Illinois artist of the month, featured as one of Black Enterprise Magazine's Modern Men, and the recipient of accolades including the award for outstanding achievement in Arts and Humanities from Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs' office, and the National Medical Association's President's Award of Excellence.


Jonathon Romain's style refuses to be pigeonholed; his art is as diverse as his life experiences. Moving seamlessly from abstract to realism in a single artistic session, he resists monotony, consistently seeking to invigorate his palette and perspective. While oils are his medium of preference, Romain's curiosity propels him to explore every avenue that the art world unfolds.


The magnitude of Jonathon's story and his triumphant emergence from a fifteen-year prison sentence to a nationally recognized artist is as vibrant and inspiring as each piece he creates, serving as a beacon of hope, empowerment, and indefinite possibilities through the power of art.

An image collage of Jonathon Romain and others
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