John Jennings has made a visual impact in the publishing world, on the Web and in galleries around the world with graphic novels, historical perspectives and exhibitions, all celebrating the work of artists like himself. He has lectured at Harvard and the University of California-Berkeley.
Jennings grew up in rural Mississippi, and in 1993 he majored in commercial art at Jackson State University. He wen on to work for The Clarion-Ledger, but returned back to Jackson State to finish his graduate degree.
Jennings’s first big success came in 2008 with publication of his graphic novel, “The Hole: Consumer Culture,” a science fiction/horror story about the buying and selling of race in America, the simultaneous worship and degradation of African Americans in popular culture and the tearing down of physical and psychological boundaries.
The graphic novel won the 2009 Glyph Comics Award—which recognizes the best in comics made by, for and about people of color—for Rising Star for Independent Publishing and was nominated for two other Glyph awards for outstanding work in the comics medium that pertains to the depictions and concerns of African Americans. It has been used as required reading in various university-level media studies and American studies classes around the country, including at Ohio State, Dartmouth and UC-Berkeley.
Jennings has said that graphic novels became central to his graduate studies and now to his research into alternate types of literacy.
Let’s support one of our talented graduates and engage ourselves in his visual and stimulating artwork that is on display at Gallery 1.
What: Graphic Art
Where: Gallery 1
When: October 10th – January 4th