At this new Upper Arlington Concourse Gallery exhibit of urban art, viewers will see more than bold pop reproductions and images of clever street tags.

At this new Upper Arlington Concourse Gallery exhibit of urban art, viewers will see more than bold pop reproductions and images of clever street tags.

Take Rob Jones, an artist whose work is more visually similar to folk artists like Joe Minter than urban art movement kings like Banksy. The invitation to show in an exhibition called "Urban Art" initially surprised him.

"I don't see my work as street art, necessarily," Jones said. "The more I started thinking about it, though, the more I realized street art has become like urban folk art. It's a lot of people that didn't necessarily go to school for art but are still making wonderful things."

While Jones did study art in college (in fact, he now teaches it at an Olentangy elementary school), his work embraces urban and folk art's similar anyman-for-the-people principles.

He makes his utilitarian pieces with found items. Under Jones' watch, coffee grounds and rope become a work's texture; beer cans become backdrops; and hoods of cars and slats of wooden fences become canvases.

"It started because I couldn't drop 100 bucks on supplies," Jones said, "so I had to create with what was on hand. I like that aspect. I try to teach a lot of lessons to my students about self-taught artists."

His subjects are often people whose stories are misunderstood or lost in the footnotes of history, particularly musical history. The work "Iron Leg," for example, is about one of the first interracial bands in Texas, Mickey & the Soul Generation, and its members who are "otherwise lost to obscurity," Jones said.

Another artist on view at "Urban Art" exhibits the signs of a reformed graffitist.

"I did a little bit here and there [in high school] and got in trouble a lot," said Jason Amatangelo. "I painted murals, lots of shapes. It was kinda like my artwork I have now. I just wanted a big place to paint."

Today, Amatangelo works as a packaging engineer. His artistic endeavors matured from graffiti to drawing for comic books to painting realistic portraits to, now, crafting maze-like abstract art from exquisitely cut and painted foam core.

"People automatically try to find something in it," Amatangelo said. "But they should just relax. Let your eye just automatically go through the piece. Just let it flow."

Stephanie Rond, Ashley Voss, Joss Parker and local middle school students round out the exhibit, making "Urban Art" an exploration of the street-savvy aesthetic as well as its many influences.