Jules Fair (right) poses with her first mural.ALTON - Jules Fair’s multimedia artwork could be described as “meditative,” to say the least.

Fair hasn’t always had an easy journey, but those struggles have allowed the Milton Schoolhouse Artist of the Month to help other people navigate life through meditation, self-care and guided art practices. Meanwhile, her own art has grown over the years and made Fair one of the most prominent artists in the Riverbend.

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“During the lockdown for COVID, I had already been going through some tough times before, and I needed a way to feel better. So I decided to sit with myself and learn as much as I could about meditation and how we can rewire our mind,” Fair remembered. “I take the concepts that I sit with in meditation or through an active meditation like dance, I take those ideas and those concepts and I transmute them into a 2D or 3D piece of art.”

As Fair’s meditation practice expanded, so did her art. She soon found herself drawing, painting and sculpting all the time, living by her own belief that creation should be a near-constant act.

With a growing reputation as an artist, Fair began teaching classes at Jacoby Arts Center, though she considers herself more of a guide than a teacher. Her first class was a meditative drawing class. The students, still in masks, learned how to let meditation influence their artwork.

“The return on that journey was so beautiful because I was able to see week by week the difference in everybody’s journey, even my own, of feeling okay even though the world wasn’t okay at that time,” Fair said. “I use the word ‘guide’ because I know that the teaching really comes from within, and all my job is to set the space and to provide support.”

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Since that first class, Fair has gone on to lead somatic dance movement classes, sound healing retreats and meditative art classes that she lovingly calls “paint-and-ponder” events, which are modeled after popular “paint-and-sip” nights but with meditation instead of wine. Some of these events are held at Jacoby Arts Center, others are spread throughout the Metro East, and she plans to start hosting more classes at Milton Schoolhouse in the new year, too.

Fair also facilitates showcases that “highlight the power in community and diversity,” and she is often on the lookout for more artists, dancers and creatives to expand the “creative network” she has helped to develop. The experience of creating, collaborating and helping others has been a healing journey.

“It feels like I’m at home, in my path,” she shared. “I don’t feel that I’m longing for anything anymore. I feel that I’m very fulfilled and I just feel so grateful. I feel happy that I’m able to give that to the community and it gives back to me.”

Fair’s art is on display at the Milton Schoolhouse through the end of December, but her work is soon to be a permanent part of Milton when she begins painting an indoor mural later this month. In the meantime, you can check out her other mural project outside of River Bend Yoga at 100 W. 3rd Street in Alton, or follow her on Instagram, Facebook or her official website at JFPerspective.OnUniverse.com to stay up-to-date with the artist’s work and find out more about events she has planned.

“My art is based in expansion of the mind. All of my practice has to do with my internal processing and how I can improve my own journey,” Fair added. “It’s a lot of fun. I love holding space for expression because in this world, we are not given the opportunity as much as we should. I think, personally, we should create every day.”

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