Savannah Based Artist Jim Cone Is A Man On Fire


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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. 

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South's Greatest Kids Contest 2017

When it comes to cute, the kids of the South are all way above average! Share the cuteness and nominate your kids today.

South's Greatest Chefs 2017

With the food revolution starting in the South, it's no wonder our chefs are so dang popular. Nominate and vote for your favorite Lowcountry chef today!
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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...

  • Gayle Miller’s Women Together, Feminine Expressions in Watercolor featured at Art League Gallery

    Aug 01, 2017
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM @ Art League of Hilton Head Gallery

    Exhibition Dates: August 1 - 26, 2017 from 10 am - 4 pm and 90 minutes before all Arts Center performances.   Opening Reception: Wednesday,...

  • Kayaking and Canoeing at Hanna Park

    Jun 14, 2017
    10:00 AM @ Hanna Park

    10 am Kayaking and Canoeing at Hanna Park Wed, thurs, fri, sat, sun  Wed-Thu 10-6pm, Fri-Sat 10-8pm, Sun 10-6pm $5 park admission, $20 hr...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 100 Sun Salutation Yoga Relay to Support Family Caregivers

    Aug 18, 2017
    5:30 PM - 8:30 PM @ Demere Center for Living

    You are invited to join us in raising support for our local caregivers by joining together in a yoga relay! What’s a Yoga Relay? We will do 100...

  • 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...

  • Charleston Night Market

    Jun 16, 2017
    6:30 PM - 10:30 PM @ Charleston Historic City Market

    6:30- 10:30 pm  Historic City Market,Historic Charleston City Market,188 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401,USA FREE ADMISSION  Spend...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Reggae Nights Summer Concert: Mystic Vibrations

    Aug 04, 2017
    7:30 PM - 7:30 PM @ James Island County Park

  • 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...

  • An Evening with Americana Legend David Olney

    Aug 18, 2017
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    “Americana Pioneer” singer-songwriter, stream-caster and actor David Olney has released more than 20 albums over four decades. His new...

  • Animal Instinct

    Jul 15, 2017
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    The diversity of animal imagery in Animal Instinct reveals the wide-ranging roles animals inhabit in an anthropocentric world. From wild...

  • 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...

  • Hattie Saussy: Rediscovery of an Artist

    Jun 30, 2017
    All Day @ Telfair Academy

    Savannah artist Hattie Saussy (1890-1978) pursued her passion for painting from the time of her youth until near the end of her long productive...

  • "I'm Trying To Tell You" Artist Talk and Reception

    Jul 28, 2017
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    Maggie Mullin O’Hara (American, b. 1991) is a multimedia artist from Pittsburgh currently based in Columbia, SC, and Savannah. Her exhibition...

  • 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...


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Scenes of the South

South Magazine's Power Party 2017

Attendees at the South Magazine Power Professionals Party 2017 arrived to the red carpet at the Hyatt Hotel in Downtown Savannah on August 3rd to strike their best pose before enjoying an interactive evening of networking and music by Danielle Hicks and the Resistance. Delicious food was provided by the Hyatt's new resturant, Moss & Oak Savannah Eatery! Before leaving, guests had the opportunity to take their photos with our amazing Scenes photographers and pick up the latest August/September issue of South magazine.

South Night at Savannah Bananas

South Magazine welcomed clients and friends to join them on the VIP deck where visitors could pick up a copy of the magazine and meet the staff at Thursday's Savannah Bananas game against the Redwolves. It was another sold out game at Grayson Stadium on their Budweiser Thirsty Thursday. Visit the Savannah Bananas online to see their remaining schedule for this year's season!

Love the Wine You're With July

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. Free to attend, guests enjoyed $7 glasses of select regional wine and delicious passed appetizer's while networking and raising funds to benefit the featured charity of the month. Each month, a different local charity will offer a silent auction, raffle or fun game to help raise awareness and money. In addition, 39 Rue De Jean will donate $1 from each glass of select wine purchased during the event to benefit the non-profit.

Prohibition Museum Grand Opening

In December of 2015, a summit of Historic Tours of America management met together to discuss the potentiality of something new, something original for not only the city of Savannah, but for the nation as a whole- a museum dedicated to the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. The American Prohibition Museum is the first of its kind in the country and takes guests back into the 1900s as anti-alcohol rallies swept the U.S. and the booze problem was pushed into the forefront of American politics. Through immersive displays and state-of-the-art exhibits, guests learn how Prohibition and Temperance shaped thinking and culture for more than two hundred years of American history.

4th of July River St. Celebration 2017

Hundreds of residents and tourists came to celebrate American patriotism at the 2017 River Street Fourth of July Celebration. enjoying live music from 8-10pm with local favorites the Hynotocs on the WSAV Military Stage. Families were able to bring their children to the kids zone while waiting on the fireworks display! The Savannah Waterfront Association was excited to help WSAV celebrate their 60th Anniversary during the event and teamed up to host a military VIP seating area for viewing fireworks! VIP seating will be limited to first come first serve and a VIP pass must be presented to enter. VIP passes will be given away on air with Alpha Media and a limited number will be available the day of at the WSAV tent. Chairs, blankets, are welcome and make sure to get there early to grab a spot along the riverfront.

Grand Opening of Ghost Coast Distillery

Ghost Coast Distillery embraces Savannah's spirited and storied history - one of indulgence, light-hearted mischief, and jubilation. They honored The Spirit of Savannah by opening Ghost Coast Distillery, Savannah’s first distillery since just before the era of prohibition. Beginning in 2017, Ghost Coast Distillery will be open for tours and tastings at its home in vibrant Downtown Savannah. Come see how they make some of the South’s finest craft spirits, while learning about the history of spirits and revelry in our fine city.

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!