Atlanta Mourns Loss of Artist & Activist, Matt Jones

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WUSSY Operations Manager and Social Media Editor, Matt Jones has died. 

Its difficult for us to process what has happened, and he will be severely missed. Matt died from Burkitt‘s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system that affects people living with HIV. By the end of his three year long battle with the cancer and virus, Matt was surrounded by his closest friends and family and at 4:20 am, August 29th, 2018—his suffering ended.

We want to be frank about what happened to our friend because he never minced words in his lifetime and this is difficult to discuss, but truth is important and shame obstructs greatness. At his final and only solo art exhibit Closing Time, he showcased this truth. That work displayed the brilliance of Matt, as he delivered a palatable but always radically honest point of view.

The weight of his loss is real and the importance of his work in his lifetime is so deeply felt. Matt was an original creator and a silo of good reason for WUSSY He was an amazing colleague and friend—he was poised and always ahead in style. His legacy and influence are very real for us here and for the communities he touched in the Southeast as a radical, Black, and Queer artistic force.

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Matt was an avid supporter of his peers as well, and he was known for unwavering support and a persistent presence in his hometown’s art community. He had a regular column called Black Friday, which he described as "a corner of black-centric news—preferably of the queer and femme nature." 

Before his time at WUSSY, Matt was an architect of Southeast art collective Dodekapus and the street art giant born out of Atlanta graffiti, Living Walls.

To celebrate him is to do anything we can to build a better world and to do that, we can never stop creating or sharing the narratives of queer folks. We can never stop exploring subjects that may be uncomfortable to people unlike us. We really think that’s what he would have wanted.

Tonight, we will celebrate his birthday at Mary's in East Atlanta Village. A public memorial is scheduled for Tuesday evening. More details to come. You can donate here to help offset his family's costs of memorial and funeral services. 

In the meantime, listen to a playlist Matt made for summer last year and shake your ass in his honour. 

We love you Matt.

- WUSSY Staff

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