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Julian Jamaal Jones Solo Exhibition "Take Me Back" Opens at Tube Factory ArtSpace

December 20th, 2023

Untitled, 2023, Photo collage from Julian Jamaal Jones’s personal collection

Multidisciplinary artist and educator, Julian Jamaal Jones (MFA Photography 2022), opens a new solo exhibition in his hometown Indianapolis, IN at Tube Factory Artspace on January 5, 2024. The exhibition will include textiles and works on paper drawing from the songs, poetry, sounds, and his feelings for the Black church experience of the 1990s.

Chief Curator at Tube Factory Artspace, Shauta Marsh and Jones invited Kat Goffnett, Assistant Curator of Collections at Cranbrook Art Museum to write about Jones’ work and shifts in his methods, see her words below. Goffnett worked with Jones at the end of his study at Cranbrook Academy of Art to prepare for the 2022 Graduate Degree Exhibition and supported the accession of his work into the Cranbrook Art Museum’s collection after his work was selected for the Cranbrook Art Museum Annual Purchase Award.

Jones was the recipient of the 2023 CICF Artist Ambassadors Travel Grant, awarded ArtsConnect’s “Artist to Watch” in 2022, and the recipient of the 2022 Playground Emerging Artist Fellowship, supported by the Knight Foundation.. Jones’s works are in the permanent textile collections of Cranbrook Art Museum, Richmond Art Museum, and The Book Tower Detroit.

“Take Me Back” will be on view from January 5 through March 24, 2024.

Event Dates at Tube Factory Artspace:

  • Opening reception: Jan 5, 2024 at 6-10pm
  • Artist talk with Julian Jamaal Jones and Kat Goffnett, Assistant Curator of Collections, Cranbrook Art Museum: March 23, 2024 at 1pm
  • Closing reception: March 24, 2024 at 5 p.m


From Kat Goffnett, Assistant Curator of Collections, Cranbrook Art Museum:

“Home” often exists not as a structure but in spaces of community steeped in mutual reverence and a sense of belonging. In “Take Me Back”, Jones harnesses his nostalgia for one such place – the Black church of his youth. Growing up in the outskirts of Indianapolis during the 1990s, Jones navigated predominantly White spaces, making the church a sanctuary for him to engage with and celebrate both his religion and his Blackness. The church of Jones’s youth provided an atmosphere for creative inspiration and self-determination rooted in community, spirituality, and strong sensory experiences. In his first hometown exhibition, Jones channels his personal memories and nostalgic pangs into a new body of work that honors “the old Black church.”

In Jones’s quilts, he reimagines the traditional art form through the artist’s unique verbiage, drawing on improvisational styles of Black expression found in gospel music, as well as expressive abstract art. Gestural graphic drawings, which are foundational to his textiles, incorporate jewel tones and bold, animated markings. These drawings physicalize Jones’s emotional landscape as he recalls the spirit of the Black church, its fashionable congregants, dressed up for worship, and the Gospel choir’s coordinated robes and soulful, revelatory harmonies. These energetic renderings serve as an intimate yet abstracted record of the artist’s embodied experience with transformative spiritual and cultural forces.

Jones’s invigorating textiles further tap into the multisensory experience of church, introducing a more explicitly tactile element that also alludes to fiber as a medium connected to the body as a material of comfort and identity. Additionally, many of Jones’s quilts are created at an immersive scale recalling the grandiosity of religious architecture, the textiles adorning sacred spaces, and mesmerizing walls of stained glass. The work is partnered with pews sourced directly from a church, furthering the aesthetic church experience to bring viewers fully into fellowship with Jones through this reimagined sanctuary.

Through abstractly reconstructing a bygone spiritual moment through ancestral modes of expression, allusions to a sacred space, and celebration of Black culture, “Take Me Back” expresses the artist’s longing for not only a space, but a profound feeling.”


Learn more:

Julian Jamaal Jones: Take Me Back – Tube Factory Artspace

Julian Jamaal Jones Named to ArtConnects Artists to Watch

Photography at Cranbrook Academy of Art