HERRON: How did going to art school prepare you to work in multiple disciplines?

JULIAN JAMAAL JONES: Herron definitely prepared me to do this type of work. I was a photography major when I was at Herron. Then I went to graduate school and fiber grew on me and I kind of took that risk and taught myself quilting. If it wasn't for art school, I wouldn't be exhibiting in museums, and I wouldn't be in permanent collections.

HERRON: What would you say to a young artist thinking about going to art school?

JULIAN JAMAAL JONES: I think art school is a great decision. Yes, it’s costly and you are dedicating 4 years of your life, but it's worth it in the end. If it wasn’t for art school, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now. I wouldn’t have the amazing opportunity to continue my education and receive my M.F.A. from one of the leading art graduate institutions [Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI]. Now I’m exhibiting in museums and galleries and it’s honestly a dream come true.

HERRON: What’s one class a Herron student shouldn’t miss out on?

JULIAN JAMAAL JONES: I encourage students to take their foundation year seriously. Foundations taught me a series of new methods, technologies, photography and video skills, problem-solving skills, and defining my creative process. When I think about it now, it is crucial and I believe every Herron student should have an open mind when it comes to the those first-year foundation courses.

HERRON: What’s next for you?

JULIAN JAMAAL JONES: The coming year is busy for me. I have a group exhibition opening in March at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery (Asheville, NC), a group exhibition at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum (La Conner, WA), and a group exhibition at Bergdorf-Goodman opening in April (New York City, NY). I was accepted into the Black Mountain College + Fine Arts Center Residency (Asheville, NC) and will be exhibiting again with Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in fall 2024.

Follow Julian Jamaal Jones on Instagram.