Voyage Houston


Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben Workman and Claire Brown.

Ben and Claire, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Texas-born Ben Workman, aka Jumper Maybach, was pushed to the breaking point after a lifetime of bullying and discrimination. Until that one day… the day he decided to fight back and something magical happened: Ben experienced an awakening that would change his life in a profound way.

Enter Jumper Maybach, clown and abstract painter, alter ego of Ben Workman. Through his newfound freedom of expression, Jumper uses art to spread his message of universal love and acceptance. This is the inspiring story of how one man finds the courage to fight for equality in the face of overwhelming adversity and, along the way, discovers his true identity.

As a dedicated activist and philanthropist, Jumper has contributed significant time, beneficiary dollars and donations of artwork to numerous charitable organizations on local, regional and national levels and uses his artistic gifts and his celebrity status to further his humanitarian efforts. The benefiting organizations include GLAAD, The Foundation for Autism Care, Education Services (F.A.C.E.S), Houston Pride and his upcoming partnership with the Montrose Center.

“Montrose Center has programs that literally has helped so many LGBTQ people,” states Jumper. “Their outreach to the LGBTQ youth with their Hatch program has saved many lives over the years. Their programs extend into health, US Veterans (Lone Star) and now a senior retirement center underdevelopment. Montrose Center is an organization that I give my full support in helping any way I can.” Jumper Maybach.

Established in 1978 as a safe and affirming place for lesbian and gay Houstonians to receive counseling, the Montrose Center has emerged as one of the nation’s leading full-service LGBTQ centers. The Montrose Center empowers the LGBTQ community and their families, to enjoy healthier and more fulfilling lives.

“Jumper Maybach has turned his discrimination and bullying experiences into art that impacts LGBTQ youth through its message and through direct support of the Montrose Center Hatch Youth Program, mentions Kennedy Loftin, Chief Development Officer of the Montrose Center. “Jumper’s transformation is an inspiration to LGBTQ youth who are more than 5 times as likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Jumper has been a long-time supporter of the 30-year-old Hatch Youth Program which serves more than 700 LGBTQ youth each year.” Kennedy Loftin

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Life hasn’t been a smooth road for me. However, since my spiritual awakening, I’m experiencing an amazing journey that has led me all over the world exhibiting my art and telling my story through lectures. You see my art has this power that seems to create a spell bounding attachment to it.

Within the first year of exhibiting my art, I met Pepe Serna, Hollywood actor of Scareface + many other major motion pictures who encouraged me to have a documentary film done on my life story. I thought “Wow” if Jumper’s story and art could be on film what a way to help end the hate, bullying, and intolerance in this world. My life is to help the world through Jumper’s art.

So, I agreed to have a documentary film done. It took 3 1/2 years+ to complete. The film is titled “The Jumper Maybach Story”. It has won many film festival awards.

Please tell us about Jumper Maybach Fine Art Gallery.
The Jumper Maybach Fine Art Gallery is what I like to call a “boutique gallery.” We’re definitely a little different than most galleries. We specialize in contemporary abstracts with bold patterns and colors. We work with collectors and designers to find artwork that is a perfect fit.

I’m most proud of our personal touches, how closely we work with our clients to make sure that they are having a great experience, and making art approachable. We like to offer something for everyone at every price point. We don’t just have original artwork, we have prints and t-shirts with the artwork on them.

We are also an LGBTBE diversity certified business, and also active members of chambers of commerce, we like to be a part of our community.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
You know Jumper is about moving forward not backward. Every day is a learning curve so I would say nothing, in particular, would I change. It has been an awesome ride and all I see is more exceptional journeys in my future. All my inner circle needs to be seated and buckled in because Jumper is taking off like a rocket to the moon.

Claire BrownComment