JA is a brand by Jon and Annette Fortt. We believe diversity is treasure. Struggle brings strength. Art is inspiration.
The art and expression in JA has its root in the African-American experience. At the same time, a big part of our brand statement is "Art for All People." Why? JA truly is for all people. Culture isn't a zero-sum game. Respecting and embracing other perspectives can enhance our understanding of our own.
ABOUT OUR EAGLE
Eagles are bold. They’re perceptive. They’re survivors. Jon Fortt photographed the eagle in our logo from the deck of a fishing boat off the coast of Alaska.
The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States of America. JA is very much an American brand. Sometimes, people use national imagery to divide people. We decided to do something different.
Here's our take on some history: When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, America was in desperate need of an animating idea. Breaking off from the British Empire was illegal, so the founders needed to appeal to something higher than natural law. That's why the declaration says that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, [and] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Jefferson set the bar very high with that foundational American language, because he had to. Some have argued that those words, necessary to justify a Revolution, also put America on course for a Civil War to test their sincerity.
We love our country, and we love our culture. America always has been a work in progress. The struggle to live up to our ideals is an essential part of our fabric. That makes the African-American experience a quintessentially American experience. We at JA embrace that, and we want to share it with you.