Michael D. Jones
As a child with asthma, Michael spent a lot of time indoors. He developed a fervent interest in the arts through reading, listening to music, coloring, and drawing. But as he grew up, he became more focused on academics and studying to make a career in the “real world”- art was “just a hobby and something to do for fun.” Upon graduating Magna Cum Laude with his degree in English Writing and German from George Mason University, he set about building a career for himself in the nonprofit sector.
But it wasn’t until he returned to Hampton Roads in 2012 that he rediscovered his passion for the arts. He went to work for an organization that provides services, including art therapy, for individuals with disabilities. He became so inspired by the colorful and whimsical creations of those individuals that he felt moved – compelled – to pick up a paint brush and start creating. His first works were gifts to family and friends.
Soon others discovered his work. And the response was so overwhelmingly positive that he kept going. People found his work to be whimsical, magical, with bold uses of color.
Michael decided to make it his mission to provide art that uplifts people, inspires them, and brings joy, happiness, and just a bit of magic.
To fulfill that mission, he created Magic Bear Art. He works mainly in acrylics on canvas, taking his inspiration from things he sees every day: flowers, cloud formations, dress patterns, and sometimes the images come to him in dreams. No matter the source, the result must be colorful, bold, and it should spark joy. Michael hopes that through his artwork you find peace, comfort, joy, and inspiration for your own life.
When Michael isn’t making magical artwork, he also serves as the Art Center Manager for the Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center in Williamsburg, VA. His work has been featured in the September 2022 edition of Williamsburg’s Next Door Neighbor magazine,
Artistonish magazine, and The Asset Times.
He is a member of the Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center, the Williamsburg Artists Group – WAG, RAL Art Center, the Hampton Arts League, and the Virginia Watercolor Society.
His work has been featured at the Art Speaks Gallery of the Bay School Community Arts Center in Mathews, VA, as well as the Las Laguna Art Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA. He was juried into the 2022 Port Warwick Art & Sculpture Festival in Newport News, VA, and in 2023 his work was accepted into the Virginia Juried Artists Exhibition at the Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center in Hampton, VA.