Jared Monroe was always a creator. “[I] decided to come back to school and my art just really been blossoming,” said Monroe. It wasn’t until 2012 when he realized that art is what he wanted pursue. Monroe, 29, decided to come back to Grambling to complete his degree in art. He sat out of school for about 4 and a half years. Before then, he attended the Art Institute of Dallas for fashion. However, he said that he doesn’t focus on that anymore. “I like to focus on the work and actually doing things instead of what I throw on each morning…or how I appeal to someone,” said Monroe.
After art school, he sat out for a while. At this point, he wasn’t sure of what he really wanted to do.
The Lake Charles native said that being bored is what got him into painting.
“This art,” said Monroe, “I just starting doing it and it just manifested into something into what I’m doing now today.”
Today, Monroe has represented Grambling in many recent galleries including at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, an art show at Louisiana Tech, and this passed weekend in Thibodaux, Louisiana at the Louisiana State-Wide symposium.
“I did have a great response from it. I was a big favorite,” said Monroe.
Monroe has won first place two years in a row at Grambling’s student art show in the Dunbar Art Gallery.
He first submitted some work in the spring of 2015 and won, he recently won again in the student exhibition last semester for his “To Whom It May Concern” painting. This was the artwork that was featured in the Ogden Museum on Southern Art in New Orleans.
Monroe, who is also a marketing minor, has other hobbies such as sculpting and he’s also in the works of inventing a new social media, which he plans to keep under wraps for now.
“It’s still in the beginning stages. [I’m] meeting with different people… different investors to get the project up and running,” said Monroe.
The senior art major said that the simplest things inspire him. His concepts come from experiences and encounters such as interacting with people, traveling and viewing art itself.
He likes to spark feeling and invoke the physical aspects of art. “I like to make the viewer feel a certain way about something every time I do a piece.”
In his work he tries to disclose the irony behind items, images, and colors that are symbolic of the south and how they have affected racial identity in the past and present. He attempts to express the way he sees symbols and their effect on identity.
A great deal of his artwork has himself painted into it. The “To Whom It May Concern” piece for example, depicts him wearing a white hoodie with one hand raised into the air while standing in from of a confederate flag.
“I know myself better than anybody,” said Monroe. “So I’m getting more into different subject matters.”
Monroe said that he actually painted this painting before the controversial rebel flag problem came along.
“So when I started painting it, all of sudden the controversy came about the flag and the confederacy about how they wanted to take it down and a symbol of oppression so it kind of pre-ordained I want to say,” said Monroe.