Zionsville artist helps others cope with grief with portraiture • Current Publishing

After the sudden death of her 54-year-old husband in 2012, Zionsville resident D. Anne Jones founded a non-profit organization to help those who have lost loved ones unexpectedly, and in the process, she found a way to deal with her own grief.

Jones, 61, is the founder, executive director and principal artist of Face to Face Fine Art, a Zionsville-based nonprofit that provides free hand-painted portraits for families or individuals who have lost a loved one. dear as a result of sudden, unexpected or tragic death. . Jones created the organization to help others in their grieving process and to commemorate the deceased by creating “a lasting memory of their life.”

In 2012, Jones lost a sister to a brain tumor. Her mother, a 22-year pancreatic cancer survivor, died seven weeks later. And during her mother’s funeral on Mother’s Day before, another tragedy struck.

“We said, ‘Next Saturday is going to be a fun time, it’s my son’s wedding.’ And that morning my husband didn’t wake up. We had a wedding, but it was so surreal, ”Jones said.

D. Anne Jones holds a portrait of her late husband, Christopher. (Photo courtesy of D. Anne Jones)

Jones’ husband Christopher died at the age of 54, when Jones was 51. But before her death, Jones had already thought about forming the association, and her death reaffirmed her belief that it was something she had to pursue. Face to Face was created in 2013, and over 200 portraits have been produced for those selected by the group’s board of directors.

Initially, the portraits are mainly done in pastel, a kind of chalk. Jones has produced portraits for individuals and families across the United States. She also presented 18 portraits to individuals and families in Jerusalem during a pilgrimage in 2016.

“We put them under glass, and when we took them to the Holy Land, we had photographs of the drawings themselves put on a canvas, we rolled up the canvas and brought it in, so I started to do it. Jones said. “Now when I do the designs I take a photo, upload it to the internet and we present it with a framed canvas. It’s much more visible and durable. You don’t have to. worry about spreading it or breaking the glass.

Over the past eight years, Jones has produced portraits of police and firefighters who have died in the line of duty, as well as children and recently deceased, and those who have passed away long ago.

“One lady, her grandson had an aneurysm when she was 5,” Jones said. “She couldn’t stop seeing him in the hospital with all the tubes going in and out. We did a portrait of him and it reassured him. That’s all. We help them through the grieving process, commemorate the life of their loved one, and keep their memory alive for generations to come. “

While Jones has helped others overcome their grief, she has also found solace in her work.

“It’s been really therapeutic for me,” Jones said. “I have been a portrait painter for 49 years, since the age of 12. For 10 years at Crown Point, I have done weekend art shows, craft shows, and shopping malls 46 weeks a year. It helped me become good at portraiture. I was fed up with doing shows and got the idea before someone died, and it was kind of like God or fortune or whatever put me through that so I could identify myself with other people.

In 2019, Jones ‘daughter Leah unexpectedly passed away at age 37, leaving behind one of Jones’ grandchildren. The loss inspired Jones to move from South Bend to Zionsville on February 29, 2020, to raise her 11-year-old grandchild. Weeks after his move, the COVID-19 pandemic began, forcing the two to socially distance themselves from the rest of their family, who live in central Indiana, for several months.

During the pandemic, however, Jones made a full-time commitment to Face to Face and she continues to create portraits out of Zionsville.

“When you feel bad and you’ve done something for someone else, it makes you feel better,” Jones said. “When I first started doing them – and not so much now – I got along fine, I didn’t cry every day because of my husband and my sister, mom. And I would start to cry. I couldn’t understand what was going on, and it was kind of like I felt the pain of the people I work with before doing a portrait. So, I get to know them, and I talk to them and I pray on the portrait, that it be a source of healing and joy in their life (that of their loved ones).

To learn more, visit facetofacefineart.org.

A source of healing

Zionsville resident D. Anne Jones, Founder, Executive Director and Principal Artist of Face to Face Fine Art, has produced hand-painted portraits for families or loved ones. Below, some portraits:

Emma Kraus, a grade eight student at Zionsville West Middle School, passed away suddenly on October 4, 2020. Artist D. Anne Jones presents the portrait to her mother, Alexandra Lopez. (Photos submitted by D. Anne Jones)

A portrait of Ronald Lewis is shown to his wife, Sandy, and his family, including Cindi Walker Kawka and brother, Greg, on July 17, 2020. Lewis died suddenly during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

A portrait of Lake County Corrections Officer Britney Meux was presented to her family in May 2014. Meux was jogging with three other Lake County Corrections officers in March 2012 when she was hit and killed by a drunk driver.

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