John Obafemi Jones was born in Ellaville GA on October 29th, 1950. Seeking better economic opportunities, John’s parents migrated from southwest Georgia to Brooklyn, New York, At the age of five, John began to exhibit a talent for the arts. John’s junior high school art teacher noticed his potential and encouraged his mother to enroll him in a drawing class at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The weekly visits to the Museum fueled John’s commitment to the arts.
After high school, he enrolled at Pratt Institute. However, a burning desire for a deeper understanding of the dynamics and significance of African American artists and their art led John to transferred to Fisk University Nashville, TN. At Fisk, John came in contact with American cultural stalwarts such as Aaron Douglas, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, and David Driscoll. During this period, Jones began the visual exploration of Afro-Atlantic culture, particularly the areas of religion and music.
After college, John returned to New York and established a studio in the Tribeca section of lower Manhattan. In 1979 John settled on St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands and his wife, the fiber artist “Yemaya." A teaching artist, John taught Advance Placement Studio Art at the St. Croix Educational Complex H.S.