KBJ’s Art and Activism


This piece, titled The World Shuts Down, includes a plastic face shield Jones made herself.

Graham Brown, co-Executive Editor in Chief

Piece of sheet plastic that can be fashioned into a COVID mask? Sounds good. Bullets from a gun? Definitely. “Stay Home, Save Lives” postcard? Check, check, check.

During this past summer, health teacher Kim Bouldin-Jones has dedicated a significant amount of time into creating 24×24 mixed media collages highlighting major political issues facing our country and city today.“There’s a lot that we’re all going through together,” says Ms. Bouldin-Jones, who teaches ninth-grade health and serves in the counseling department. “[If someone looks at my art] now, it’s kind of like ‘we’re in the thick of it,’ but I like pushing out and saying if someone has it in ten years to think about ‘how far we’ve come.’”

Her pieces center around what she considers to be the existential threats facing our communities today, from Black Lives Matter to COVID-19 to climate change to gun violence, and feature an assortment of household objects, drawings, and whatever else she wants to include.“I glued a mask on one of them, I did one on guns and I actually found bullets and glued them on,” she explains. “Everyone’s like, ‘Oh my gosh those are real bullets’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah!’”

Although she did minor in art in college, her collages are all very recent, having started during lockdowns this spring and summer.

This multimedia project about gun violence was created by JBS Health teacher Kim Bouldin-Jones using everything from newspapers to real bullet shells.

“Someone sent me a stack of these COVID postcards, like ‘Stay Socially Distant’ and ‘Wear a Mask,’ and I thought ‘Huh, I’d love to make an art project!’ and the monster was unleashed,” she says, laughing. She originally started by making the art for herself, as a subconscious way to help herself cope with the tumultuous times we are living through, but after posting some on her Facebook page, friends inquired about getting prints for their homes.“I’ve actually sold like quite a few big prints of them…I think it resonates with people because I think we’re all in this time period together and I think some people kind of like the idea of marking that,” she says. “ I don’t have a grand design like ‘Okay, now I’m gonna go to New York,’ but it’s nice to be appreciated.”

As she returns to teaching this fall, KBJ confesses that she may have to take a hiatus on creating art, but she also promises that she will return to her projects and, in the meantime, she hopes her work has drawn attention to these problems in our society and can serve as a “time capsule” for the future.