“Love is a Gift that is Surely Handmade:” An inspiring gallery about familial and self-love


Photo by Bethany Wire

This artwork is the first one seen when entering Hannah Evelyn Jones’ Love is a Gift that is Surely Handmade art exhibit. It is composed of seven different pieces that come together. They are titled, Split, Vessel, Vein, Joint, Pull, Push, and Strain.

Tegan Ruhl, Staff Writer

Correction: The name of the gallery is “Love is a Gift that is Surely Handmade.”

The expression of love in creative outlets has been present for centuries in many cultures.  Students can now see the expression of love through one of their fellow student’s eyes.  

The McCutchan Art Center is currently housing an art exhibit called “Love is a Gift that is Surely Handmade.” The exhibit was created by Hannah Evelyn Jones, a postgraduate art and design student.

Jones created the exhibit for the Efroymson Bridge Year Fellowship, an award program that allows art and design graduate students to build a strong portfolio for graduate school. The exhibit consists of more than 25 pieces, including paintings, poetry and embroidery. 

“There’s a lot of duality in my work of the happy and the sad,” Jones said. 

 Jones said all of her pieces are inspired by generational joy and generational trauma. They focus on the loved familial things passed down, and the things passed down that don’t need to be kept.  

These paintings, Low Tide, on the left, and High Tide, on the right, are composed of oil and embroidery on canvas. (Photo by Bethany Wire)

Her theme of duality is shown through paintings that contrast each other. Such paintings include “Low Tide” verses “High Tide,” and “Secrets” verses “Celebrations.” 

Jones’ biggest piece, “Family Portrait,” is heavily inspired by her own family’s dynamic, specifically her grandfather.  

“I lived in a different family dynamic of having my grandfather at the head and then my parents,” Jones said. “So, the idea of living in a multi-generational home is something that has picked up in my work.”  

The piece consists of five large canvases arranged in a circle with vibrant colors, highlighting specific characteristics of Jones’ family. Along with crocheted thread hanging from wall to wall, the piece contains an autobiographical poem wrapped around the entire room to accompany each of the canvases.

“I’d say all of these pieces are semi-autobiographical/biographical just because I don’t write about what I don’t know,” Jones said.

Celebrations, an oil painting on canvas created by Hannah Evelyn Jones, displays an upside down girl in the woods. (Photo by Bethany Wire)

Each of the pieces in the exhibit is accompanied by poems written by Jones. Some of the poems in the exhibit are lyrics from songs she wrote for her band, Hannah Evelyn Trio.

All her paintings are delicately crafted with vivid colors and precise drawings and shadings. However, some of her paintings also contain the same striking characteristic of hand gestures. Jones said she included hand gestures in her pieces to challenge the idea in art that the human figure is dead. 

“We respond to the physical human body, and the power that it holds,” Jones said. “They still hold power, and they still command the space.”

The most recurring theme throughout the exhibit is a long crochet chain of thread over 200 feet long that connects to each piece in every room of the exhibit. Jones describes the chain as a “central vein bringing blood to everything.”  

“It’s all kind of about bringing together all the different parts of myself that I thought were kind of separate when really they were all leading the same direction,” she said. 

55 crocheted pieces hang on a wall before the final day. On the final day of the exhibit, Jones plans to give away all of the pieces. (Photo by Bethany Wire)

Jones said her favorite piece in the entire exhibit is a wall of 55 crocheted pieces she made from one skein of yellow yarn. Jones plans to give away these pieces at the exhibit’s reception as a reminder of self-love.

“Some people can get that experience and some people can’t,” Jones said. “It’s not because I don’t think those people should have it. It’s just because that’s all I have.”  

The exhibit captures the passion Jones has for her art as well as her appreciation for all the loving figures in her life, truly proving that “Love is a Gift that is Surely Handmade.”  

Jones’ exhibit is currently on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until Feb. 4, 2022, at the McCutchan Art Center located in the basement of the Liberal Arts Building. Her work can also be found in the Fall 2021 edition of “FishHook,” a student-run art and literary journal.