Nationally recognized, a Chatham Legend; Clyde Jones
Do you hear the roar of the chainsaw? Do you see all the wooden critters? As you drive through Bynum, Chatham County, it seems like everyone along the way has a wooden critter! These are the master pieces of Clyde Jones; whom is known internationally for his folk art. Whenever someone comes to visit, the first place we take them is to Clyde Jones house…a must see!
Clyde started making his critters in 1982 and since then they have been on display in places like the North Carolina Museum of Art and DC Smithsonian Art Gallery. I have heard from many people, as well as I have read it on many websites, that some of these critters have traveled the world. They have been to Peru, Philippine’s, Taiwan, and supposedly one sits on the Great Wall of China, among other places. You can also see many of them outside of local businesses.
Clyde’s resume also includes Fearrington Folk Art Show, the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington and in Baltimore there is a collection of his works at the American Visionary Art Museum but most impressively his artwork had its own window display on Fifth Avenue in New York City! They were displayed in a very exclusive store; Bergdorf Goodman. I am sure the list goes on…
You would think that someone who has been so well received in the art world would let it go to their head, but not Clyde, he is really kind and welcomes anyone that stops by. I once heard that Mikhail Baryshnikov (famous dancer), wanted to buy one of Clyde’s Critters and Clyde refused. His creations cannot be bought, he either gives one to you or he donates them to charity.
Chatham Arts Council has created a fund raiser in Bynum, called “ClydeFest”; and yes, Clyde can be seen there and even makes a critter as everyone watches! Our family enjoys it!
Mr. Jones can also be found on websites such as roadsideamerica.com
So, the next time you are in Bynum, stop by and tell Clyde hi! Don’t forget the camera!