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Brothers are working together to brighten walls
Jan. 17, 2012
Visitors to the Flanagan Campus cafeteria in Lincoln may have noticed an addition to the décor: a mural by students Jordan and Justin Dubois. For these identical twin brothers and Community College of Rhode Island art students, sibling rivalry has long ago turned to a partnership and mutual drive.
The Duboises grew up playing “Pictionary” and other drawing games and having art contests with their two older brothers. Soon, their critiques of each other’s work grew constructive and then collaborative.
“We used to compete with each other to see who was the best, but now it’s more about working together and developing our skills together,” Jordan Dubois said.
Justin and Jordan grew up emulating their eldest brother, a talented artist in his own right but one who has chosen not to pursue it as a career. The twins tried to learn from their brother and became interested in many media, from painting to airbrushing to animation.
“We kind of grew into it,” Justin Dubois said. “We were young and we just found this passion for art.”
The brothers share ideas, technical knowledge and constructive criticism. “Everything we do is together,” Justin said.
The twins worked for free on the mural in the Flanagan cafeteria, completing it last summer. The lead chef of the campus cafeteria asked them to create the piece to brighten the area. “We were told ‘education, food and bright colors,’ and that’s what we came up with,” Justin said.
The mural incorporates the CCRI logo, a graduation tassel, an apple, an academic calendar and silhouetted students. It is mostly in acrylic paint but the twins used an airbrush gun to draw out some of the shadows.
The brothers do whatever work they can find in the community, talking to local artists for advice on how to succeed in the small Rhode Island market. They soon will begin work on another mural inside the Woonsocket Police Department
CCRI Assistant Art Professor Mark Zellers, who has instructed both students, said they are a talented pair and he commended their ability to find work as artists.
“Often people think that art is frivolous or extra or just about catharsis, but it is a viable option to make a living,” he said. “And these two fellows are already working on it and they haven’t even gotten an associate degree yet.”
The twins graduated from Woonsocket High School in 2009 and came straight to CCRI’s art program. Each has been accepted to a four-year school: Jordan to the Rhode Island School of Design and Justin to Massachusetts College of Art and Design, known as MassArt.
This is the first time the brothers will create art without the other’s input, but in two years they plan to reconvene and pool their knowledge. They are both interested in pursuing animation as a career and they may try to work for established studios. Their ultimate goal is to start an animation studio together.