Artist embraces ‘San Quentin Project’

By Miranda Wood -

Pictured is Jamie Sloane in his historic appartment in Point Pleasant.

Pictured is Jamie Sloane in his historic appartment in Point Pleasant.

OHIO VALLEY —The name Jamie Sloane is well known to many in the Ohio Valley but now, he and the artwork he produces, can be appreciated at the Huntington Museum of Art.

The San Quentin Project, an HMA exhibit, invited 11 artists to use the imagery and information in the California state prison’s record books as a starting place for the creation of original artworks. Topics could range from a general statement on imprisonment to a visualization of specific individuals who populated San Quentin Prison many decades ago.

One of the 11 artists picked for this exhibit is Sloane who was raised in Huntington before relocating to downtown Gallipolis, and now resides in Point Pleasant with his partner Jimmy Hobbs .

This is the first time Sloane’s art will be featured in a museum. Until this point, his work was exhibited in galleries and has been purchased by art buyers nationwide.

“Having my work in a museum is a surreal feeling,” Sloane stated.

He will be exhibiting three works of art for the San Quentin Prison exhibition: “Visiteurs No. 2”, “Laborer” and “Embezzlement.”

“It is an honor for my work to be exhibited in the Huntington Museum of Art, not only because, it’s a goal of many artists to have their work featured in a museum, but because it is a museum in Huntington, West Virginia,” Sloane said.

There were two books with mugshots that Sloane looked through for the project: “The earlier of these two books, the prisoners wore hats,” he remarked, amused by the efforts the prisoners made to dress up before the prison issued their uniform.

The prison records span from the years of 1918 until the 1930’s. Each record includes biographical information about the prisoner and information about their sentencing.

Sloane examined these two books of mugshots from inmates at San Quentin prison. Sloane took 77 photographs of the mugshots back to his studio in Point Pleasant. There, he studied each photograph. Sloane was to only choose three mugshots to recreate. He stated that he wanted to “reflect upon the photographs objectively.” He was influenced by which photographs to choose for his artwork by how the faces in the mugshots figuratively “spoke to him.” Sloane further explained he wanted to, “subconsciously” choose a photo and to choose a photo that had a face that he deemed “intriguing.”

While trying to figure out which photographs to use for his work, he did not look at the inmate’s record. He wanted to be “nondiscriminatory” in his selection.

Sloane has many adventures coming his way with a 12-piece collection solo exhibit to be featured at HMA. This solo exhibit will feature 12 portraits “inspired by historical imperialism portraits as well as being inspired by the 12 houses of the zodiac,” Sloane revealed.

Sloane will also be featured in a documentary which will feature his “Visiteurs” collection, the process of how Sloane is getting the collection ready for the museum and other “revealing aspects” of his work.

Both Sloane’s solo exhibit and documentary will be unveiled in 2018.

The San Quentin Project at the Huntington Museum of Art runs from Jan. 14 through May 28. The exhibit is presented by Jack and Angie Bourdelais. For more information regarding this exhibit visit the HMA’s website.

Pictured is Jamie Sloane in his historic appartment in Point Pleasant. is Jamie Sloane in his historic appartment in Point Pleasant.

By Miranda Wood