(Malvern)--A great visual example of art imitating rural life can be found on the north side of the Nishna Heritage Museum in Oakland, a large, amazing work of art painted by Malvern's own Zack Jones.
The Malvern native was commissioned to complete the piece through Gayle Strickland and he didn't disappoint. Travelers from all over the Midwest can't help but detour off of Highway 59 to take in the massive painting, which depicts rural/agricultural life in Southwest Iowa.
Zack is the son of Greg and Cheryl Jones of rural Malvern. After living in Arizona for a number of years, the former All-American decathlete now makes his home inside the 1873 Presbyterian Church in Malvern, now known as Project Art Church.
Vacated by the congregation 48 years ago, Zack purchased the property five years ago and continues to fix up the building while at the same time making the historic structure the focal point for his passion of painting.
Speaking of passion, visitors are marveling at what's going on inside Project Art Church these days, as Zack is currently on a mission to paint the interior of the building, no not a pale shade of white, but an enormous and gorgeous painting of a sunset which will eventually encompass the entire interior wall space of the church.
As it turns out, Malvern is the perfect spot these days for Zack to set up his art studio as the Mills County community is evolving into a cultural center that regularly attracts artists of various capacities throughout the year at numerous arts-related events.
As a matter of fact, Zack is soon to be working on yet another beautiful mural that will be admired by many, on the north side of Mulholland's Grocery Store, a project supported by Jay Burdic of the Malvern Trust and Savings Bank. It's a painting, metal-art theme that both Zack and his Uncle Woody Jones will be working on this year.
If you're sensing a theme here, you're right. Zack has enjoyed painting smaller projects over the years and has sold many at various art events and through zjpaintings.com, but these days he's trending more so to the larger projects such as his completed work in Oakland, his ongoing work at Project Art Church and the upcoming mural in downtown Malvern.
If you would like to set up a tour of Project Art Church and would like to learn more about Zack's paintings along with all the wonderful cultural happenings that are taking place in Malvern, call 480-628-9234 or go to malvernia.com, the web site of the Malvern Area Betterment Association.
Also, to get a glimpse of the awe-inspiring work in progress inside Project Art Church, check out Zack's video here at KMAland.com.