Chuck Jones takes to the skies with style and class
April, among many other things, was National Kite Month, but that doesn’t mean you can only fly a kite one month out the year. In fact, you don’t even have to go outside. Yes “indoor kites” isn’t just a great band name but something that actually exists, made from such lightweight materials they can fly with almost no wind. Local kite maker and enthusiast Chuck Jones has been on the leading edge of the aerial art form.
Jones works out of his garage on the Northside. He introduced himself, a sewing needle stuck through the fabric of his “Life is Good” t-shirt, and showed off his many kites, some displayed on a folding table, others propped against his entryway steps.
His collection includes rokkakus, six-sided Japanese fighter kites with appliqué designs, Chinese T-shirt-shaped kites with homemade paper, classic diamond-shaped kites, and R2 verticals that look less like the traditional kites we know and more like flying sculptures.
He has taught several workshops locally, including ones for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and at the Creative Discovery Museum. Sometimes, he said, he helps to make up to fifty kites a day. He also flies most Sundays in the Sculpture Fields, where one of the founders of the East Chattanooga Academy of Arts and Social Justice saw his work and said he had enough for a gallery opening.
The result is a gallery opening this Friday at 6 p.m. for Jones at the East Chattanooga Academy of Arts and Social Justice, where his various homemade kites will be on display.