Savannah Based Artist Jim Cone Is A Man On Fire


Published:

Artist Jim Cone with a piece of his artwork.

When Jim Cone visited the owner of 24e, a Savannah Georgia based business, he was pitching an idea he had to have a show like no other and he wanted to host it at Ruel Joyner’s store.

The artist in Jim knew there no was better location to have the show since 24e is one of the most eclectic, coolest stores in this region and the alignment to his work could not be more perfect. But something else caught Ruel‘s eye. As Jim was laying out the plan, Ruel noticed  above the artists head in a distance was the only Picasso that was hanging in the store. Heck, perhaps the only in this region. Ruel was dumbstruck... so much so, he whipped out his phone and snapped a shot to capture the moment. A few months later, the store turned gallery hosted hundreds of curious art lovers and Jim Cone’s dream had come to life. By the way, Jim was also fresh off fighting a bout of cancer that normally wins, but after losing half of his jaw and tongue, Jim emerged victorious. He has been there and back and wants to give back to those that made sure he was here to fight another day. 

Soft sun warms the walls of 24e, an upscale furniture gallery on Broughton Street in downtown Savannah. Jim Cone, clad in white trousers and baby blue button up shirt, adjusts a painting—his painting—that hangs beside one of the second floor’s unadorned 10-foot arched windows. Cone steps away, then steps forward to gently tap the painting. When it is square, he steps back again, shoulders loosened. The gentle caress of sunlight on Cone’s smile reveals the asymmetry of his jaw.

“I’m just recovering from cancer,” he says, “if you have a hard time understanding me, tell me to slow down.” Though muffled, his words are discernible, which is a genuine miracle. Jim Cone battled the odds against an aggressive, near-fatal form of tongue cancer. Now at the window, triumphant and glowing in the afternoon sun, Cone gets to revel in the glory of sharing his art with the world.

My Savannah II,Jim Cone

But Cone doesn’t consider himself a trained painter. With a handful of art and painting classes under his belt, he mostly relies on his own perspective of form and color to shape his art.  In the 1970’s he painted marsh landscapes that sold on River Street. “But I got too wrapped up in thinking about how to sell it all,” recalls Cone, “the commercial part started eating away at the creative process.” In 1980, he vowed to paint only for himself; no more commissions and no more worrying about how to sell his work. He continued painting, though, with a passion that rarified and refined his art into what it is today.

And so two parallel careers emerged. By day he worked for Georgia Power, handling downtown Savannah commercial accounts for over 30 years. All the hotel and restaurant staffs knew Cone. “He was the guy who, even if a place lost power in the middle of the night, Jim would be on the scene figuring out how to get the lights back on,” recalls Ruel Joyner, owner of 24e. “The restaurants loved him because Jim really understood that no power meant no food, meant no customers, meant no money.” Revered for his work at the utility company, in 2016 Savannah Tourism Leadership Council named Cone a Community Champion.

But at night, on weekends and whenever he could, Jim Cone painted—to date he’s created more than 600 paintings and sculptures, his work clearly influenced by the cubism of Braque and Picasso. But instead of earth tones and muted colors, Cone’s work evolved into portraits based on highly saturated cubes, cones, and spheres of color. “Picasso kicked the door of cubism open, I walked through and went my own way,” says Cone.

Woman in Red Scarf,Jim Cone

His painting, “Yellow Cat,” conveys that well. A large tabby sits as the focal point, painted with the angular majesty reminiscent of the Egyptian pyramids. Red, green, and blue geometries stand behind the regal feline.  “That’s the one I’d like to make into a book for children,” muses Cone, “for them to learn about cubism at an early age.” The image is robust, playful, and fun in a way different from the works of Braque and Picasso. “Yellow Cat” is accessible.

The light from the window catches his eye, and Cone goes into the friendship of Braque and Picasso, speaking about how Cezanne mentored both when they were young men. “These artists were visually creating motion and simultaneous, multiple dimensions,” Cone continues, the sunlight dancing in his eyes. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful for children to learn about them at a young age?” Cone’s heartfelt respect for Braque, Picasso, and Cezanne shines. 

To read more about Jim Cone, subscribe now or pick up the June/July issue of South magazine. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

South's Greatest Chef Contest 2017

With the food revolution starting in the South, it's no wonder our chefs are so dang popular.

South's Greatest Pets 2017

Nominate your pet for the South's Greatest Pets contest! Winners will be featured in a photo spread for South's August/ September issue!
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Events Calendar

  • Charleston Cars & Coffee

    Jun 17, 2017
    7:30 AM - 10:00 AM @ Mount Pleasant Towne Centre

    7:30am - 10:00am  FREE ADMISSION  Mount Pleasant Towne Centre,1712 Towne Centre Way,Mt Pleasant, SC 29464,USA A bunch of car and...

  • Charleston Farmers Market

    Jun 17, 2017
    8:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ Marion Square

    8:00am - 2:00pm  FREE ADMISSION  Marion Square,329 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403,USA Join us every Saturday in beautiful Marion...

  • Amelia Adventures’ Endless Summer Daily Kayak Tours

    Jun 13, 2017
    9:00 AM @ Amelia's Adventures and Kayak

    9 am Amelia Adventures’ Endless Summer Daily Kayak Tours www.AmeliaAdventures.com CAll 904-500-TOUR for more information Repeats...

  • Live Oak Public Libraries Summer Reading Program

    Jun 01, 2017
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Libraries in Chatham, Effingham, & Liberty County

    Live Oak Public Libraries presents “Build a Better World” Summer Reading Program (SRP) June 1 – July 31. SRP offers engaging activities and...

  • BrainWaves Clay Sculpture Exhibit at Art League of Hilton Head Gallery

    Jun 07, 2017
    11:00 AM - 4:00 PM @ Art League of Hilton Head Gallery

    As one of Hilton Head’s premiere sculptors, Sheri Farbstein is well known for teaching classes, giving creative workshops and exhibiting her...

  • Dr. Robert Rollings to Speak on Heart Health at June 27 Encourage Health Education Lecture

    Jun 27, 2017
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Savannah Morning News-Auditorium

    Dr. Robert Rollings will present “Seven Ways Your Heart Health is Linked to a Healthy Lifestyle” on June 27 at the second lecture of the 2017...

  • Jazz Brunch

    Jun 04, 2017
    11:30 AM - 2:00 PM @ The Westin

    The Westin's weekly Jazz Brunch is a treat for all, with spectacular views of Savannah, delicious food and beautiful music performed by the...

  • All You Can Eat Mussels

    Jun 06, 2017
    5:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ 39 Rue De Jean

    Rue de Jean will be offering 6 different flavors of mussels with baby greens salad, bottomless pommes frites and warm bread all for just $24 per...

  • Party at the Point!

    Jun 16, 2017
    5:30 PM - 9:00 PM @ Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

    5:30pm-9:00pm  Charleston Harbor Resort,20 Patriots Point Road,Mount Pleasant, SC 29464,USA COST: $7 Join us every Friday at the Charleston...

  • Pints and Pavement

    Jun 27, 2017
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ The Rail Pub

    Come run/walk a two, three, or five mile route provided by Fleet Feet Sports! Follow the paths provided or make it your own! kid and pet...

  • ALJ Monday Night Ceramics

    Jun 12, 2017
    6:00 PM

    Students will learn how to build ceramic sculptures as well as hand crafting with various techniques in form and technique $60 for 4 sessions, $80...

  • HarbourFest (Every Monday - Friday)

    Jun 12, 2017
    6:30 PM @ Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

    Two shows at 6:30 and 8:00pm Fireworks- Tuesdays, June 13, 20 & 27 Tuesdays, July 4, 11, 18 & 25 Tuesdays, August 1, 8 & 15...

  • Fun With Albert

    Jun 01, 2017
    7:00 PM - 7:45 PM @ The Sea Pines Resort

    Join The Sea Pines Resort recreation team and our mascot, Albert the Alligator, for photos, games and activities on the lawn adjacent to the...

  • Blues & BBQ Harbor Cruise on the Carolina Queen

    Jun 15, 2017
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Carolina Queen River Boat

    7:00pm-9:00pm Admission- $44.95 for adults/ $25 for children 4-11 Carolina Queen Riverboat,17 Lockwood Boulevard,Charleston, SC 29401,USA...

  • Free Movie Night on Folly Beach ( repeats every Wednesday until August 23rd)

    Jun 14, 2017
    7:30 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tides Folly Beach

    7:30-9:00pm Tides Folly Beach,1 Center St,Folly Beach, SC 29439,USA COST: Free From May 31st through August 23rd, Tides will play movies...

  • “Rewind” at the Savannah Theatre

    Mar 15, 2017
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah Theatre

    The Savannah Theatre presents “Rewind!” March 1-26, Sept. 1-Nov. 17 and Dec. 27-30, 2017. Rewind back to the first time that...

  • Open Mic Night at the Wormhole

    Jun 05, 2017
    8:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Wormhole Bar

    All musical genres welcome! Visit wormholebar.com for more info!  

  • Mamma Mia!- HHI ( Every Tuesday- Saturday 8pm)

    Jun 14, 2017
    8:00 PM @ Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

    14 Shelter Cove Ln, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 Full priced tickets June 16-August 6, 2017 are $50 for adults and $41 for children. Performance...

  • Generation Exhibition Opens

    May 26, 2017
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    Generation is an exhibition that brings together two generations of Iraqi-Canadian women artists—mother Sawsan AlSaraf and her daughters...

  • Her + Him Film

    May 26, 2017
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    Akram Zaatari (Lebanese, b. 1966) is a filmmaker, photographer, archival artist, and curator who lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon. Her + Him...


Show More...

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Scenes of the South

Grand Opening of Edgar's Proof and Provision

In a town renowned for its spirited libations and tall tales, Edgar’s Proof & Provision offers lush libations and chef-inspired small plates on East Liberty St. in Savannah. With year-round front porch seating, Edgar’s P&P delivers southern hospitality at its best! Savannah's newest restaurant, Edgar's Proof and Provision, had its grand opening on Thursday June 22nd inside the Hilton DeSoto hotel on Liberty St. Edgar's Proof and Provision will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. It's open from 6:30 a.m. until midnight with a perfect view of the historic district, spread out over three levels. "The service is always smiling and fun and friendly and everybody's saying how locally centered that we are here in Savannah, that we are here for the locals and we want everybody to come back and have a good time," says host Kolin Podell. Residents are encouraged to check out Proof and Provision soon because another new restaurant is in the works!

Horizons Savannah’s Summer Sizzler 5K

The Horizons Savannah’s Summer Sizzler 5K took place on June 24, 2017 at the J.C. Cannon Fields on Wilmington Island where dedicated runner came out to support Savannah's kids! Guests enjoyed a summer race and cool down with watermelon and summer fun, and 5K participants received a special gift. This race was organized in order to benefit Horizons Savannah, a transformative experience for youth in Kindergarten through the 8th grade focused on helping low income students close the achievement gap through academic support and confidence building. This 6 week summer program helps struggling students gain the academic skills and confidence needed to stay on track in school. Horizons Savannah serves over 200 students annually on three campuses: Savannah Country Day School, St. Andrew’s School and Bethesda Academy.

June Andaz Salon featuring Tiffani Taylor

Andaz Savannah's monthly salons are events that deliver cultural experiences for guests and neighbors, encouraging creative inspiration through evocative content and spirited discussions with local influencers. Each Salon event is designed to imaginatively impassion guests through a new experience, and to connect them with like-minded individuals, ultimately sparking creativity. The events reflect the passion and vibe of the local community while connecting travelers with kindred spirits and artistic minds. June's salon featured local artist Tiffani Taylor, an American painter who resides in Savannah, Georgia and Paris, France. She is best known for her rich, textured paintings and original pottery.

Love the Wine You're With June

South Magazine and 39 Rue de Jean - Savannah host an evening of Power Networking and Fundraising on the third Wednesday of each month to raise awareness and funds for non-profit organizations. This event is free to attend. Coastal Pet Rescue is the charity for June and guests were invited to bring along their dogs and enjoy a night on the patio featuring, delicious regional wines and exceptional appetizers prepared by the culinary team at 39 Rue De Jean. Each glass of select wine will be priced at $7 and for each glass purchased, $1 will be given to the non profit. A Cash bar is also available for those who prefer beer or Spirits. Due to inclement weather, the event was moved inside to the Oyster Room at 39 Rue De Jean instead of its usual location outside on the patio, but we still had a great time! See you next month!

The JCB Mud Fest Mud Run June 2017

Hundreds of excited competitors came out to the JCB Mud Run and Dig and Ride events on June 20th to test their strength against the elements. Attendees had to endure 100 Degree heat to complete the 5 mile course made up of over 30 obstacles on this hot Savannah afternoon but everyone in attendance had one focus only - Finishing the Race! The event was once again an incredible success and 100% of race proceeds were donated to the children at The Lady Bamford Center for Early Childhood Development. The Lady Bamford Center was created through a joint partnership of JCB, the City of Savannah, and The United Way of the Coastal Empire. The Center opened on October 16th, 2007 and is operated by Wesley Community Centers of Savannah, Inc. The Wesley Community Center has a long and distinguished history of serving the needs of working mothers and minority families in the community.

Father's Day Unity in the Community Camp Festival

Every 3rd weekend of the month, Unity in the Community of Savannah hosts free public events on River St. that bring the community together. Unity in the Community is a nonprofit organization that promotes and hosts free, family-friendly culturally diverse events to give back to the Savannah community. The events feature handcrafted ethnic arts and crafts, home-based businesses, and community nonprofits. Entertainment is provided by churches and other local individuals and groups.

3rd Annual 'Crawl of the South'

For the past two years, Savannah has attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the largest bar crawl for two years now, with no success. The event brings in 5,000+ crawlers, but each year they’ve reached within 500 participants of the record, but couldn’t quite grab that winning title. Still, the party continues on, but this year they left Guinness out. The focus this year was on the people, the bars, and the fun. The goal is to complete your scorecard by going to each participating bar on the list. At the end, bring your filled out card to the final location for the after party and a free shirt. It’s one of the biggest events of the year for Savannah. Check out our gallery to see who we ran in to along the way!

12th Annual Savannah Mile

Hundreds gathered for the 12th Annual Savannah Mile presented by the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire that honored our fallen first responders, their families, and our military heroes. The one mile course down Drayton Street from the south end of Forsyth Park to Broughton Street has heats for every fitness level and age group. Our elite first responders and military runners competed for the Full Gear * All Out Flag in the heroes heat in full gear (30 additional pounds). The family friendly Family Fun Run/Walk allowed anyone to participate, including strollers, wheelchairs, and our four legged family members. The Memory Walk had the surviving family members of our fallen first responders walk the mile in remembrance of their loved ones.

Chicago Bears After Party

Members of the 2006 Chicago Bears NFC North Championship team came to the coastal empire on Saturday, May 20th for a fundraiser and promotional event through the The Adrian Peterson Foundation and Wilmington Island Wishes. Players competed in a charity golf tournament at Bacon Park Golf Course during the day, followed by a visit with fans at Britania Pub from 2:30-5:00pm, a gathering open to the public. Former football stars scheduled to attend include recent College Football Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, the all-time leading rusher in NCAA Division I-A history from Georgia Southern University, former Pro Bowlers Mike Brown and Charles Tillman, former All-Pro Alex Brown and Anthony Adams. Tillman was the 2013 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. The Adrian Peterson Foundation is a non-profit organization which spotlights speech impediments and stuttering problems. In 2012, Peterson published the book “Don’t Dis My Abilities”. He is an accomplished inspirational and motivational speaker.

SCAD FASHWKND Runway Show 2017

Guests of this past weekends SCAD FASHWKND experienced wonders like the SCAD Savannah Runway Show, a juried celebration of fashion featuring premier SCAD School of Fashion senior and graduate student collections. Attire for this outdoor event was casual chic, and guests were invited to wear springtime ensembles that showcase their own personal style. Following the show, guests had the opportunity to purchase select garments and accessories created by SCAD alumni. This event was presented as part of the inaugural SCAD FASHWKND, the university’s most anticipated sartorial event of the year, held in Atlanta and Savannah.