Jordan Jones appointed Director and Curator of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Jordan Jones appointed Director and Curator of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery

University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design

April 2, 2024
Jordan Jones appointed Director and Curator of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery
Simon Benjamin: A Bolt from the Blue: April 3–20
University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design
Art Building
1915 Chelan Lane
Seattle, Washington 98105

The University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design is pleased to announce that Jordan Jones has been appointed as the next Director and Curator of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, to begin in April 2024. In her role as Director and Curator, Jones will provide curatorial, programming, and administrative leadership and oversight in a newly renovated state-of-the-art exhibition space within the School of Art + Art History + Design at the UW Seattle campus. Jones will begin working on the senior capstone exhibitions during the spring quarter alongside Web Crowell, who has served as the interim Director for the Gallery since the fall of 2023.

Jordan Jones is an arts worker living and working in New York. Before accepting the position, she was the Exhibitions Coordinator at Independent Curators International (ICI), working across all of ICI’s traveling exhibitions. Previously, she was a joint Curatorial Fellow at The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Museum of Modern Art. While at Studio Museum, she worked with the permanent collection and co-organized Harlem Postcards Winter 2020 and Hearts in Isolation, the 2020 Expanding the Walls exhibition. At MoMA, Jones worked in the Department of Drawings and Prints. She has participated in the Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program (IATP), the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Museum Education Practicum, and the Center for Book Arts’ Creative Publishing Seminar for Emerging Writers. She has also completed residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center on Governors Island and The Vermont Studio Center. Jones received a BA from Williams College in Studio Art and Comparative Literature.

Jones’s appointment is timely, as her first day on the job on April 3 is the opening of Simon Benjamin: A Bolt from the Blue, an exhibition created as part of Simon Benjamin’s 2024 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency, organized by Guest Curator Berette S Macaulay. 

Established in 2015, the Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency is a Gallary’s signature program that invites Black artists at all stages of their careers to spend up to four weeks at the University of Washington developing and exhibiting new work. Benjamin is a Jamaican multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker based in New York who is in residence through April 9. As part of the residency, Benjamin has been working closely with Macaulay to plan the exhibition and a series of on and off campus activities in support of his practice.

Bolt from the Blue is an exhibition curated as a living space of temporal contemplation that continues Simon Benjamin’s research of the sea and coastal areas as connected sites of colonial legacy. Through video installation, painting, sculpture, and photography we are immersed in the artist’s visual, sound, and material vocabularies on relational community histories alongside objects of inquiry. Part of the gallery will also remain in studio-draft, populated with materials that facilitate contemplation, discovery, and discussion through his lens of the Caribbean archipelago to the coastal and island cultures of the Pacific Northwest.

Benjamin will continue to develop new work and engage students in his creative process at the gallery through the remainder of his stay. The exhibition runs through April 20, 2024. 

About the Jacob Lawrence Gallery
Situated in the University of Washington’s Art Building, the Jacob Lawrence Gallery is a vital center for social engagement and critical dialogue about the roles of art, art history, and design within the broader context of intellectual life on campus. Through an ambitious and compelling program of contemporary exhibitions, lectures, performances, screenings, and discussions, the gallery is a site of knowledge production and advancing discourses that serves over 8,000 visitors each year. In 1994, the gallery was dedicated to one of the School’s most renowned faculty members, Jacob Lawrence, who taught at the University of Washington from 1970–85 and served as Professor Emeritus until the end of his life in 2000. The gallery is a tangible, living legacy of Lawrence’s exemplary life and practice.

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April 2, 2024

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