Our Spotlight on the Arts is shining brightly on JR Rhine! We first met JR back in February of 2019 when St. Mary’s County Arts Council hosted his “13 Poems” book release at our gallery space. Since then he has further expanded his publications and has recently written a brand-new children’s book titled “Jimmy Loves His Long Hair” (illustrated by Genevieve Lacroix).
As an author JR released his first publication in his early 20’s and has actually been writing ever since he picked up a pencil as a young child. His mother was a big believer in handwritten sentiments and often slipped small inspirational notes under JR’s bedroom door and tucked them into his lunch sacks. He would save these sweet messages, often reading them over and over while creating a special collection of memories and enjoying reading from early on.
Even the simplest of words held great power as our featured artist would often write short notes as well while imagining and creating future poems and stories. Books of all shapes and sizes were ever-present in his home as his parents instilled in him a zest for learning. Now as an adult, JR whole-heartedly enjoys sharing his love of literature with others
Moving onward to his college years, Rhine found enjoyment exploring the works of many artists of the Beat generation such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Their travels took him on fascinating roads and soulful journeys while earning his degrees at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Teaching). Some of JR’s current favorite writers include Charles Bukowski, Hanif Abdurraqib, and Mary Oliver.
Poetry has long been Mr. Rhine’s favorite form to write, mainly as he feels that “it’s the quickest to getting out what’s swimming in my head”. He compares a good single-page poem to a rock solid two-minute song as far as “getting the job done” and capturing his thoughts in the moment. He also believes that shorter writings, such as poetry, are more likely to be read in detail and undivided attention in today’s busy world.
Besides spending much time writing and thinking of his next project, JR also enjoys music and skateboarding which he considers to be central muses and pathways of self-expression and freedom. He is an accomplished drummer and has played with several different local bands and writes solo songs.
JR Rhine is also a fourth grade teacher, which he describes as “the greatest job in the whole wide world”! He loves working with children and helping them explore all subjects including music and the arts. Mr. Rhine intertwines an amazing energy and positivity with his lessons and inspires his students to be creative thinkers and life-long learners.
Thank you JR for being a valued part of our artistic community, we are looking forward to your future projects and reading your recently released new book!
One of JR’s favorite quotes: “All truths wait in all things.” – Walt Whitman
Learn more about our featured artist at the links below:
Photos provided by artist.